For our final Exploration we were excited to have Stephanie from CAWST join us to help us learn about what they do and how they help people.
CAWST (the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology) is a Canadian charity and licensed engineering firm. We address the global need for safe drinking water and sanitation by building local knowledge and skills on household solutions people can implement themselves. We were founded in 2001. CAWST works around the world and has helped 13.1 million people to access safe drinking water to date. –CAWST
The first thing Stephanie asked us was what the word affordable means. We were able to tell her that it means that something that has a price we can pay. We also made some great guesses for the definition of the word sanitation. We felt it had something to do with staying healthy and being clean.
Stephanie asked how many of us had had water that morning; some of us hadn’t, but we had all used water somehow before school. Did you know that 1/3 of the people in the world don’t have a toilet? And 1/4 of the people in the world don’t have safe water? That is a lot!
Although we usually think of places on the other side of the world as not having clean water, Stephanie taught us that people all over the world, including Canada go without clean water. She asked us what makes water dirty and our answers included: garbage, factories, animals.
We loved playing the game Stephanie brought. We had to put the picture cards in an order that ended with the boy in the pictures getting sick and being int he hospital. We did a great job with this and were able to explain the way we had sequenced our pictures. Next, we had to replace the cards with new ones that showed ways to prevent the boy from getting sick from the dirty water. We solved the problem and discussed it together. we learned that you can clean water by boiling it, by using a sand filter or using sunlight (UV light).
Watch here to see the video about CAWST that Mrs. Chapman showed us after Stephanie had visited us.
Stephanie shared a story about Tikho and her family who live in Mapalo, Zambia. Tikho has to collect the family’s water before she goes to school everyday. She has to collect 100 litres of water everyday!
We learned many things about Tikho and cleaning water!
- Tikho uses 20L of water a day and the average person in Canada uses 327L of water!
- they use a tippy tap to wash their hands
- they use a concrete box with sand to filter the water and clean it
- they can use UV light to clean water as well as boiling the water
- Tikho’s mom is is teaching her community how to clean their water
We also learned a lot about CAWST:
- they have worked in 130 countries
- the organization started 15 years ago and they have helped about 13.1 million people
- the organization started in Calgary and 50 people work there
- we can take action by telling people about the problems people have with dirty water, by fundraising and studying water and how to clean it
Stephanie showed us how a tippy tap is made! That was so interesting. She also had a 10L pail filled with water that we all got to try and pick up and imagine what it must be like for Tikho when she is carrying water for her family. We only had to pick up one pail for a few seconds. We were amazed that she has to do that 10 times to get the water her family needs for the day!
We didn’t take action that day. Stephanie left us a pin each, but Mrs. Chapman saved them until World Water Day on March 22. When we were given our pins, we were asked to spread the word about what CAWST does. So when someone asked us about our pin, we shared the story of Tikho and CAWST. It is important for people to talk about what is going on in the world so that others are aware.
Thank you to Stephanie for helping us to learn about the important work that CAWST does for so many people in the world.
You can find out even more information about CAWST here: