Every 21 seconds, a child dies of a water-related disease. How is it that those living in first-world and second-world countries can live their lives without having to question where they will get clean water from, while millions of others around the globe suffer with water shortages and limited or no access to safe, clean water?
In the content below, we discuss the problem of dirty water and explore two global water shortage solutions that help provide access to clean water in which you can get involved with to help end the global water crisis.
The Problem of Dirty Water
As reported by UNICEF, 663 million people on our planet do not have access to safe, clean drinking water. The theory that local people somehow grow accustomed to their sewage-impacted water source and gain an immunity to the bacteria, viruses, and parasites just isn’t true. Oftentimes, they must resort to sharing polluted, bacteria-infested streams, lakes, or rivers with animals and the nature surrounding them. Otherwise, they have nothing else to drink.
The Time Stolen
In most countries with little access to safe and clean drinking water, the task of collecting the daily need for water typically falls on the women and children. The average distance that someone in a developing community walks to fetch water is 3.75 miles, and the journey is even more challenging once the water containers are full.
Due to the length of travel often needed to access the closest clean water supply, the women don’t have enough time for a job. Therefore, they can’t contribute to their family’s income. Furthermore, when the children need to get the water, they are unable to attend school and as a result, their education is impacted.
The Weight of the Situation
Did you know that a 5-gallon jug filled with water weighs more than 40 pounds? Over time, the excessive weight of the water containers carried over a long distance can create additional health issues for the women and children carrying it.
Imagine your eight-year-old son or daughter carrying such weight for four or more miles. How exhausted would they be? Consider an expectant mother who is the one that has to fetch the daily water. Would she have the endurance to walk and carry a 40-pound jug?
If there was a way for clean water to be accessible within a quarter mile of more local villages, the chore of collecting water would be much more manageable and less stressful.
Two Global Water Shortage Solutions
We cannot ignore the reality that last year almost a million people, mostly small children, died from waterborne diseases. They are trying to survive by using the only existing local water sources that have which typically have been contaminated with sewage, bacteria, viruses, and parasites. But contrary to some beliefs, they don’t build up immunity to these life-threatening
they don’t he theory that local people have somehow grown used to their sewage-impacted water source and gained immunity to the bacteria, viruses, and parasites is simply untrue.
With a global water shortage crisis in providing access to safe water, it may feel inundating to come up with a tangible and effective solution. However, with the work of many hands, we can contribute to improving the global water shortage crisis and providing accessible and safe drinking water to the nations.
Below are two global water shortage solutions that can offer safe, clean, and accessible water to the millions without.
#1. Implementing Water Purification Systems
Although some villages and countries have access to water, the water is often contaminated and filled with disease-causing bacteria. As a result, this is a major contributor to the global shortage for clean, drinkable water.
We realize that there is no one-size-fits-all safe water shortage solution. Therefore, it is crucial to design and implement each purification system to fit the local context and need.
For example, our engineering teams at Healing Waters International design and implement water purification systems uniquely created for each community. We leverage simple, reliable, and powerful tools to provide a lasting supply of safe water and train the site partner in systems operation and maintenance.
We utilize water treatment technology that completes the following three objectives:
- Creating a Safe Water Environment
We remove bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, particulates, and other harmful substances as appropriate using separation membrane technology. Doing so removes any risk of operator error.
- Cleaning Bottles
We utilize an integrated bottle sanitizing station to ensure that safe water is not contaminated by pouring it into dirty bottles.
- Ensuring Sustainability
Our teams work hard to create water purification systems and components that can be affordably supplied to the community. Often acquired locally, these components can be easily exchanged to ensure sustainable operations.
Our systems are designed to primarily purify existing water sources. This approach conserves water, crucial as water scarcity rises, and ensures water safety as well as good taste.
The site partner owns and operates the purification and distribution system to make the whole program economically viable and sustainable. The water is sold at an accessible cost to all in the community.
#2. Hygiene Education
Education is one of the greatest ways to conquer the global water shortage as it has the power to transform people from the inside out. Health, hygiene, and sanitation education teaches communities about the long-lasting effects of living healthy lives, from drinking safe water and hand washing to properly cleaning food to nutrition and best practices in sanitation.
Education Through Water-Business & Operations Training
Working with site partners to develop and implement a community-appropriate water distribution and sales model produces income that covers system maintenance costs and can provide additional profit for reinvestment in the community.
Education Through Investing in People
Safe water shortage solutions work best when implemented in partnership with the local community. Therefore, invest in local leaders by training them in business skills
, and safe water systems operations and maintenance.
Train local leaders in the area to teach their neighbors sanitation & hygiene education. When the local community invests through sweat equity, you see a greater chance of success. Oftentimes, these leaders are best identified through the local church, and this creates an opportunity for the local church to tangibly invest in their community.
Instilling Hope with Healing Waters International
Hope leads to thriving. We believe people thrive when their physical and spiritual needs are met. Instilling hope in others helps change people spiritually, emotionally, and physically. When people have hope, they positively change down to the cellular level, which leads to improved health. Hope-filled, healthy people who do not have to worry about where their clean water will come from are free to focus on other parts of their life.
At Healing Waters International, our model is incomplete without this key element. Freed from the burden of unsafe water, our prayer and vision is that people don’t just survive, they thrive: full of hope and the freedom to learn, love, work and pursue their God-given dreams.
Engage in Long-Term Success
We work with the local community to produce a long-term monitoring and evaluation plan. Reporting water program outputs and impact not only ensures accountability but enables us to learn how to keep doing things better. It also allows the local leaders to adjust and make improvements in hardware and practices that keep safe water flowing for generations to come.
Our experience over the last 15 years has taught us the value of strategic partnerships. We partner with other like-minded organizations whose mission, vision, and approach to poverty alleviation aligns with our own, and who have identified safe water as an essential component of their work.
This includes local churches within communities, church leaders at the national level, as well as international non-profits, including Compassion International, Food for the Hungry and many others.
We all need the chance to pursue a quality of life that begins with the basic necessity of accessible, safe water. And we can all do something to help! We invite you to join us at Healing Waters International. Contact us today for more information about ways to partner with us. Together, we can end the global water crisis!
We’re on a mission to end the global water crisis. We build holistic clean water solutions and spread God’s love in at-risk communities around the world, empowering people not just to survive, but to thrive – physically, socially and spiritually.