Water is one of the world’s most precious natural resources. However, 80 countries regularly experience serious water shortages. Children’s tiny bodies are particularly dependent on clean water and susceptible to water related diseases and parasites. When clean water is scarce, all aspects of life are impacted, including:
Health — Contaminated water and poor sanitation are a factor in 88 percent of all disease in the developing world.
Food production — Without water, crops and livestock die and healthy meals cannot be prepared.
Economics — Poor health from unclean water causes a community’s productivity to suffer and family incomes to dwindle.
Education — Where water is scarce, it is unlikely for schools to be built or teachers to move to the communities. And because children must spend hours fetching water, they are unable to attend school.
No other humanitarian intervention produces a more dramatic effect on life than access to clean water and sanitation.
Water makes a huge difference in Raffa Village
Water makes a huge difference in the village of Raffa, in Niger's Zinder area, where women used to travel 6 miles each way for water each day.
Walking in Sabina's shoes
Twice a day, Sabina walks 2 miles with 70 pounds of water on her back to meet her family's water needs.
Clean water is invaluable
Every day, 1.1 billion people wash with, bathe in and drink dirty water.
Almost every 7 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness.
2.5 billion people have inadequate or nonexistent access to proper sanitation.
When a community gains access to clean water, improved sanitation, and basic hygiene information, its child mortality rate drops by half.
World Vision’s response:
No other humanitarian intervention produces a more dramatic effect on life than access to clean water and sanitation. This is why:
In 2011 alone, World Vision provided nearly 546,000 children and adults in 10 African countries with access to clean water through our combined water, sanitation and hygiene efforts, including 809 new wells.
Over the past 25 years, 11 million people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America gained access to safe drinking water through World Vision's sustainable programs.
Clean water and sanitation are foundational to all aspects of development, and often the first work World Vision does in a community.
Wells — In partnership with other organizations, World Vision has plans to drill 825 borehole wells in rural West Africa that will bring the gift of health and clean water to nearly 500,000 people over a six-year period.
Water-storage containers — During the rainy seasons in arid regions, World Vision helps communities collect, purify, and store fresh rainwater in safe containers for use later in the year.
Water-piping systems — World Vision helps transform arid land into fertile fields through the construction of gravity-fed clean water systems. In southern Ethiopia, these systems are utilized and nearly 64,000 farmers benefit because formally unproductive fields now reap harvests.
Protection of natural springs — World Vision helps communities protect natural springs from contamination by livestock and wild animals.
Purification of water — World Vision supplies equipment to treat and purify water contaminated by bacteria, pesticides and animal waste. Procter & Gamble has provided 3 billion liters of clean drinking water in collaboration with World Vision.
Latrine construction — Because good sanitation improves human health and helps keep water sources cleaner, World Vision facilitates waste management by constructing latrines.
Laundry pad construction — World Vision builds cement laundry pads to shield water sources from contamination by detergents and waste. Through the support of partners like you, our water projects have given more than 10 million people access to clean water and improved sanitation.