Women from a community that benefit from UK support in Rapasing, Nepal. Some of the villagers receive health services, sanitation and education as part of the UK-funded Gurkha Welfare Scheme.
Britain recently announced that it will supply more remote Nepali communities in the Gurkha heartlands with clean water and sanitation. UK aid will provide sanitation for 44,000 people and clean water for 96,000 as part of the expanded Gurkha Welfare Scheme - a programme of support for the Nepali servicemen and their families who have served the British Army.
The programme will also help to educate 78,000 people about health and hygiene, which may reduce the proportion of people suffering from water-borne disease by as much as 90%.
Poor sanitation and a lack of clean water is a major issue in the rural areas of Nepal where the Gurkhas live. Up to 13,000 children under five die from preventable waterborne diseases each year. Cholera and typhoid outbreaks occur annually, but could be wiped out with improved sanitation and hygiene.
Water-borne diseases disproportionately affect the women of the community, as they usually collect the water and care for the sick. Not only will improved sanitation save women’s lives, it will also save them on average three hours a day in time spent collecting water. This has been shown to directly increase the number of girls enrolling in school by around 17%.
To find out about more ways in which Britain is helping women in developing countries this International Women's Day, please visit www.dfid.gov.uk/News/Latest-news/2012/International-Women...
Picture: Department for International Development/Narendra Shrestha
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