Clean water changes everything.
HEALTH AND SANITATION
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80% of all sickness in developing countries is due to unsafe water and sanitation practices. These deaths total more than all forms of violence, including war.
Children are especially vulnerable to water borne disease due to their underdeveloped immune systems. Every eight seconds a child dies from these water borne diseases. That is a staggering 9 million children dying each year before their 5th birthday.
The WHO reports that 88% of water borne deaths could be prevented if communities had access to a safe water supply and better sanitation facilities.
WOMEN AND CHILDREN
For many around the world collecting a daily water supply is exhausting. The trip to collect water is on average about 4.2 miles roundtrip. The responsibility of collecting water often falls on the shoulders of women and children. Frequently, these water supplies are contaminated and exposed, putting these women and children at a greater risk for injury due to animals, harassment, and even sexual assault.
The time spent walking and collecting water regularly results in children contracting diseases. The combined illness from being unprotected against the elements and water contamination means that children are not able to attend school. Without a safe water source nearby, women and children are unable to pursue new opportunities to improve both their lives and their family’s lives.
Disease prevention goes hand-in-hand with clean water. When a community receives a well they are able to start improving their sanitation practices. This improved sanitation practices includes simple hand washing, dishwashing, and the construction of latrines. Through the development of these practices, water related deaths are virtually wiped out from a community. Disease prevention and sanitation all starts with having fresh water.
ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY IMPACTS
Clean water has three major impacts on the community in which it serves. Increased food supply, gender equality, and sustainability. All of which generates better lives for millions around the world.
Many families in developing nations depend on crops and livestock for their income. It can be extremely difficult to generate an income because often there is an insufficient clean water supply to use for crops and livestock. This leads to families being dragged down further into poverty. Clean water can end this vicious cycle by producing better crops and healthier livestock for families to sell at market. This self-sufficiency is something Wellspring strives to bring to every community.
In many developing communities women and young girls bear the burden of collecting water for the entire family. The completion of a well in these communities significantly cuts down on the time women and girls spend collecting water. This offers them an opportunity to receive an education and earn extra income for their families.
Well sustainability is essential when deciding which communities will receive a well. The water crisis demands that communities learn how to maintain a well on their own. Our partner, World Vision, provides the education needed for community members to maintain the wells over time. This stimulates jobs in the community and offers people an independence they may not otherwise have.
Through our matching grants and partnerships, Wellspring is able to multiply every donation six times. This makes it is easier for us to bring clean water to people around the world.