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Home > About Us > Press Center > Water and Sanitation

Water and Sanitation

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Geraldine Ryerson-Cruz
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202.246.2432 (c)
Latest Press Releases
04/26/2007New Pipes Mean Renewed Life for Thousands in West Africa
04/20/2007Global Water Shortage a Concern

The Need

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:

>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.
When water is scarce, all aspects of life are impacted.
No other humanitarian intervention produces a more dramatic effect on life than access to clean water and sanitation.

Fast Facts
3,800 children die every day from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. Source: UN World Water Development Report 2, 2006
2.6 billion people, or 42 percent of the world's population, have inadequate or nonexistent access to proper sanitation. Source: Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Target (WHO/UNICEF 2004), WHO/UNICEF Water for Life 2005

World Vision’s Response

No other humanitarian intervention produces a more dramatic effect on life than access to clean water and sanitation. It is foundational to all aspects of development, and often the first work World Vision does in a community.


    Wells—In many regions, women and girls walk for hours every day to collect water that often isn’t even clean. 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—We help transform arid land into fertile fields through the construction of gravity-fed clean water systems. In southern Ethiopia, for example, formerly unproductive land is now bursting with food thanks to a system like this that benefits almost 64,000 farmers.

    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,animal waste and waterborne disease carriers.

    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 protect water sources such as wells from contamination by detergents and waste water. Through the support of partners like you, our water projects have given more than 10 million people access to clean water and improved sanitation.

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Who Is World Vision?

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

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