Is the provision of clean water creating more problems?
When Bhante first moved to Bulega village, where the temple is now situated, the villagers had no access to clean water. He compassionately availed water through the borehole projects. The vision was to ensure every individual in Bulega, and the neighboring communities, had access to safe drinking water. This would also reduce water-borne diseases people were getting from contaminated water and water from the lake. Five boreholes have already been built serving Bulega village and the neighboring communities, including two schools that have a boreholes in their compounds.
Did we solve the water problem? The answer to this question is yes, but the problem of disease still persists within the community. We have realized that the villager’s do not understand how to conserve and store water. In this village, people use plastic jerry cans to collect and keep water. The jerry cans and other water containers are not cleaned well so they attract mold (a thick-dark green mold). When it comes time to use the water, most are not mindful to boil it before use. Therefore, children have started getting fungal infections, which affects both internal organs and the skin.
One of the children who often comes to the temple is a victim of the resultant skin fungal infection. The infection is contagious so it can spread to other people.
Prof. Anya, one of our current volunteers, who is a Medical Anthropologist, has intervened on this issue. She has suggested that the first thing to do is a thorough cleaning of the wash areas and water containers with a vinegar solution. Bhante Sangharakkhita a resident monk has also offered anti-fungal ointment to apply on the child’s skin while using the vinegar solution internally and externally. We hope these basic interventions will be helpful as we look into more long term solutions to this problem. We welcome any ideas that can further the cessation of this potential menace.