Wisconsin Idea Fellow Theo Loo sends photos back from South Africa

In spring 2015, UW-Madison student Theo Loo was awarded a Wisconsin Idea Fellowship to develop a waterborne disease prevention project in Kumanzimdaka, South Africa this summer.

Last week, Leo posted some incredible photos of his work as well as beautiful South Africa.

Currently, 40% of South Africa’s population lives in rural areas with little access to clean water, leading to illness and disease. In 2014, Theo and three classmates conducted a rapid health impact assessment that outlined several physical water source protection strategies to prevent waterborne diseases in Kumanzimdaka, South Africa.

Theo’s current Wisconsin Idea Fellowship project builds on that assessment with the goal of reducing the prevalence of waterborne diseases in Kumanzimdaka. The project will conduct water testing and water sterilization workshops, establish a community dialogue, and map houses, community centers, livestock feeding pastures and latrines. The project will then produce a recommendation for physical water source protection strategies, and has the potential to lay the groundwork for a systematic approach to reducing waterborne diseases across rural South Africa.