Raise awareness to more people about this existing problem
People around the world are still unaware of the fact that many living in third world countries or developing countries are still struggling to have access to clean water. Many people also think of water as a luxury that they can afford to waste without saving it. By raising awareness of this issue, more people will be knowledgeable of this first-world problem and would not be so ignorant when it comes to using precious water. Therefore, when people are more aware of this problem, they would try to put themselves in shoes of people who do not have access to clean water and as such, would be more considerate when using water. Educate more people about the importance of water
Water is an essential need for human beings. Without water, us humans will not be able to drink, shower, wash our clothes and dishes. Countries such as Singapore and Canada are considered to be really lucky to have safe and clean water for us to consume and yet many people are taking advantage of it by leaving the taps to run when not in use and taking long showers. However, many of these people who waste water do not know the importance of water and are unaware that water is a scarce resource. According to United Nations (UN), the use of water has been rising globally at a fast rate and a rising number of countries are reaching the limit at which water is being delivered. Therefore, it is important to educate people on the importance of water and to teach them to save water (“Scarcity”).
Countries without potable water will now have access to them
Countries such as Haiti and India with little to no access to water for consumption will now have access to clean and safe-to-drink water which will really help them in doing basic needs such as drinking, showering and even using it to cook. People in such countries will also be less prone to water-borne diseases as they will be drinking uncontaminated water. Water transferred from huge gallons to potable water trucks would be transported to a mid point where people live, so that it can be easily accessed by people and they would not have to travel miles to carry water on their heads and therefore would have easy accessibility to water as well. This will then help them to lead a normal lifestyle just like the majority people in the world who have access to clean water.
Challenges faced and Solutions to solve them
Shortage of Volunteers
Haiti is known for its high rates of major crime which include murder, sexual violence, as well as kidnapping & robbery. In 2012, the United Nations office on drugs and crime reported 1,033 murders, for a murder rate of 10.2 per 100,000 people compared to 486 murders (5.1 per 100,000 people) in 2007. Sexual violence on the other hand, has become a common phenomenon in the country. Since the 2010 earthquake, over a million Haitians had to move to refugee camps where conditions are risky and poor. A research by a human rights group showed that 14% of Haitian households reported having at least one member who have suffered sexual violence between January 2010 and January 2012. Since May 2014, there have been series of unfortunate events involving travelers arriving in Port-au-Prince who are attacked and robbed after driving away from the airport. The US Embassy has been alerted of cases involving 64 U.S. citizens, resulting in three casualties and several injuries. Due to these major crimes reported in the country in recent years, many individuals may be hesitant or unwilling to travel to Haiti to lend a helping hand, causing the inability to provide clean water to as many locals as we can.
Solution: We have decided to work closely with the authorities in Haiti, including the police and immigration officers, to ensure the safety of our volunteers are guaranteed. We will also conduct a short briefing before the trip to brief the volunteers on how they can further protect themselves such as pairing themselves up with a partner and carrying their bags in front of them to prevent snatch thieves from stealing their personal belongings. This would help to ensure the safety of the volunteers and would encourage more volunteers to continue being a part of this project.
Insufficient proceeds from sellings
Some people may not be willing to buy the water bottles and tumblers being sold at USS. This is because most of the people who visit USS do not wish to spend a lot of money on the food and beverages there as the products sold there can be very expensive compared to the prices outside of the theme park. Therefore, visitors bring their own filled water bottles and refill their water bottles at the water coolers provided at the park. Therefore, it would not be necessary for them to buy the water bottles hence causing lesser funds to be raised from this project. Visitors might purchase the tumblers sold at USS as it would be aesthetically pleasing and would encourage them to buy it for a good cause as well. However, the funds raised from selling just tumblers would not be enough in helping Haiti. Insufficient proceedings would not aid with the success of this project as without money, we would not be able to buy Evian water and Starbucks tumblers to sell them. If we do have enough funds to begin with, we would also not be able to resume our partnerships with Evian and Starbucks because if we suffer a loss, it would also mean that they are suffering a loss too. We would also not be able to bear the costs of transportations of water to Haiti. Therefore, if we do not have enough funds to aid our project, it would not be a success as we would not have enough money to buy and transport the water.
Solution: To overcome this challenge, we will be selling the tumblers in packages at an all-inclusive reduced price to convince more people to buy the products to ensure that funds needed for this project is rising. We can also promote this project through USS’s website so that more people would know of this project and would be sympathetic and more willing to buy the Evian water and Starbucks tumbler to help with this project.
Transportation of water and building water pipelines
It is not easy to transport water as it is heavy and therefore requires a lot of energy, from vehicles and people, to do so. Furthermore, natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods may cause disruption in the transportation of water which may prevent Haitians from getting their water and a waste of our resources used. An example would be Hurricane Matthew which was accompanied with massive storm surges and rain, which destroyed Haiti and left 1.4 million people in need of human welfare aid (“2016 Hurricane Matthew: Facts, FAQs, and how to help”, 2018). Therefore, transporting water there would be a challenge.
Solution: A way to overcome this challenge is to do research beforehand of Haiti and the particular area that we will be visiting, on whether or not there have been recent disasters there and reevaluate if it would be safe to transport the water there. We can also research if there are proper roads there to transport the gallons of water.
Building water pipelines in the Haitians’ houses may also be a challenge as infrastructure that bears water into houses is not cheap to buy, build and install. Many people would not be able to afford pipelines in their houses as well. Moreover, its maintenance is not easy as well. Many countries with water pipelines are still facing a huge amount of repairing costs of pipelines. However, if water pipelines are not installed in houses, people might have to walk a long distance to fetch water for themselves. (“Access to Safe Drinking Water: Challenges and Opportunities for Improving Global Health”, 2016)
Solution: The first way to overcome this challenge is to raise enough funds to be able to afford to buy the materials needed for building these pipelines. The more funds that we raise, the more pipelines that we will be able to build. The second way to overcome this challenge is to teach the Haitians on how to maintain the pipes at home. Volunteers must first learn to use the pipelines and know how to maintain the pipelines so that they can educate the Haitians on it. Therefore, by knowing how to maintain the pipelines, they Haitians will be able to use it efficiently. Moreover, they would be given a helpline number just in case the pipes at home are not in working conditions. This would help to overcome this challenge.
Transmission of Diseases
Waterborne diseases such as chronic diarrhoea, typhoid and cholera are common in Haiti and can be easily transmitted from person to person when bathing, washing or drinking water, or by eating food exposed to infected water. This may be dangerous for the volunteers as they might risk contracting the diseases and carry it home to their loved ones. When this happens, the whole Singapore might suffer another epidemic which will eventually affect the tourism industry where the country will not be able to generate revenue from tourists as they are unlikely to visit this country during this period.
Solution: We will send volunteers to take flu shots before visiting Haiti as the transmission of diseases is a huge problem in Haiti. We also advise them to bring their own prescribed medication to Haiti in case they fall sick there. Moreover, we would not be eating food from hawker centres and food prepared by shops in the roadside as the food preparation there might not be as hygienic as food prepared in malls and fast food restaurants. We would also drink water from the bottled water provided by Evian, just for this trip. Taking these precautions would help to overcome this challenge and will ensure the safety of all the volunteers and others who would be visiting Haiti because of this project.