In North America, it is a well-known fact that we take our water for granted. We waste it without a second thought, when we brush our teeth, dump out half-empty water bottles, wash small loads of laundry or clean dishes under running water.
Around the globe, however, 1 in 9 people have little or no access to clean water and contaminated water plays a huge role in disease and death in the poorest countries world-wide.
Only 1% of the world’s water can be used for drinking. The rest contains too much salt, is contaminated or is frozen in ice caps and glaciers. Some people have to walk for several hours to find usable water and that water is often dirty or filled with bacteria. Thankfully, many organizations are fighting for the right for clean water. Here are just a few:
The mission organizes shoe drives and regularly collects shoe donations to fund the purchase of well-drilling equipment, filtration systems and more for communities in Kenya.
2. Samaritan’s Purse
Samaritan’s Purse funds safe water programs around the world. They provide water safety and hygiene education to help people prevent the deadly diseases caused by contaminated water. Samaritan’s Purse estimates 70%-80% of hospital visits in some regions are related to unsafe water and totally preventable, so installation of filtration systems or wells in residences, schools and business always come with water hygiene education.
3. Water for Good
This organization works in the Central African Republic. They not only to drill wells that provide clean drinking water for communities, but they also provide education and resources for local people to keep the wells operational. This is so helpful in areas where wells are often drilled and then left abandoned.
4. Pure Water for the World
Focused in Haiti and Honduras, this non-profit partners with communities to deliver Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) education with an eye on sustainability to ensure long-lasting change. Community members receive the training they need to oversee and maintain the project and the organization provides follow-up and monitoring.
5. Charity Water
Using private funding for administrative costs, this charity spends every penny of your donation on safe water projects in 20 countries around the world. They offer small, effective solutions like rainwater catchments and personal filtration systems for about $30 per person and encourage people to start fundraising campaigns so support their cause.
Water.org recognizes that women and children are more strongly impacted by water challenges. Spending up to 6 hours of each day walking for water for your family, leaves little time for work or school, so poverty remains the reality. Offering small, affordable loans, they are getting safe water and sanitation into homes and communities, empowering people and giving them hope for the future.
Many devices are available to help ensure clean drinking water is available to individuals and communities in developing countries. Some commonly used items include:
- Devices that recycle human waste into usable water
- Personal filtration straws that collect dirt and bacteria
- Ceramic water filters
- Bio-sand water filtration systems
- Bicycle water purification systems
- Solar water purification bottles
Here in North America, there are many providers offering clean water treatment systems. It’s hard to imagine life without clean, running water. You can get an idea of what it might be like by joining friends in a challenge to limit your water to 13 gallons a day or by getting involved with organizations who are working to promote safe water issues around the world. Many organizations accept volunteers for their projects, at home or abroad and they are all grateful for financial support.