Jamie and Michael just got back from a project monitoring trip in Uganda, but that’s not all they were doing. Part of their trip took them to Tanzania where they were working with the Vine Trust to plan new water projects on Lake Victoria.
Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake, approximately 26,600 square miles in size and is bordered by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. There are numerous islands on Lake Victoria where many thousands of people live without access to clean drinking water and have little or no access to health care. This means that family members are often becoming sick with waterborne diseases and have no access to medicines or medical help. This is especially dangerous for babies and young children who have no other choice but to drink the polluted and harmful water.
The Vine Trust operates medical expeditions on Lake Victoria with their MV Jubilee Hope, a 160-ton former Royal Navy Tender refitted for this purpose. The ship takes thirteen trips each year, lasting for ten days each as they give medical help to people who travel to them from over 150 different islands. Its staffed permanently with half a dozen local medical staff and often also takes western medical volunteers aboard. There are over a hundred islands in this part of the lake and there are only two medical dispensaries (simple pharmacies). There is also only one island that has birthing rooms for pregnant mothers. Jamie and Michael travelled on the MV Jubilee Hope to a few of these islands that are in desperate need, assessing how best to provide access to clean water for these small fishing communities.
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