Initiatives That Increase Access To Clean Water
Blaire Hiebsch arrived in rural Honduras while volunteering with Living Water International. Through her work in a local school, she helped children understand the importance of a clean water supply and proper sanitation in preventing illness. When walking to the village, Blaire saw the river where the families collected their water; not only was it a mile from some of the homes, but it was polluted with garbage. As Blaire learned on her trip, supporting access to clean water is one of the best ways to empower communities. A safe water supply encourages children to attend school, ensures families can live without waterborne illnesses, and helps local economies thrive.
“On the day we dedicated the well, all the children wanted to hold on to me and my co-teacher,” Blaire said. “I felt I didn’t have arms long enough to reach out to all of them. I remember leaving that day thinking how I had come down there to bless them, and they ended up blessing my life so much more.”
The following organizations echo Blaire’s dedication to safe water as a tool for transformation, utilizing innovative technologies while embodying a spirit of cooperation.
Water.org believes that change is bigger than any one charity. This nonprofit endeavors to supply clean water to communities through demand-driven projects. Communities reach out to local partners about installing new wells and sanitation solutions. Local organizations then propose projects to Water.org’s leadership. This model meets the critical needs of communities on their terms, honoring the knowledge and strength of local organizations.
Columbia Water Center
Scientific research is the backbone for this partnership between the Earth Institute and Columbia University. The Columbia Water Center aspires to develop and implement creative solutions to clean-water shortages. It builds sustainable models for rainwater harvesting, reservoir productivity, and water-supply infrastructure in South America and Africa.
Whole World Water
Whole World Water inspires big companies in the hospitality business to rethink the way they serve water. Its initiative encourages hotels and restaurants to filter their own water, bottle it in glass, and sell it to customers, cutting down on waste and pollution from plastic bottles. The participating restaurants and hotels then donate 10 percent of their profits to increasing clean-water access in the developing world.
Pure Water for the World
Ninety percent of Pure Water for the World‘s staff live and work in Honduras and Haiti. By implementing simple-to-use filtration systems and basic hygiene training in local communities, the organization decreases the prevalence of waterborne diseases. Pure Water for the World focuses on serving children, making its mark through everyday improvements.
Each of these organizations illustrates a different approach to the challenge of clean water. By striving to serve the needs of communities around the world, they — as Blaire’s story shows — deepen our human connection across continents and cultures.
Image source: Flickr