Access to Clean Water

Clean Water Initiative

GFA World’s efforts among people in need include a clean water initiative. Simple access to clean water can save millions of people’s lives.

While clean water Christian organizations such as GFA World, and organizations like the United Nations and UNICEF, have made substantial progress in providing greater access to clean water and sanitation, billions of people still lack basic services: One in three people don’t have access to safe water to drink, while 40 percent of people don’t have a place to wash their hands with soap and water.[1]

Despite progress, even the WHO and UNICEF are struggling to keep up with demand for clean water and sanitation. “The alarming and growing needs continue to outstrip our ability to respond,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “The time has come to dramatically accelerate our efforts to provide every child and family with the most basic needs for their health and wellbeing, including fighting off infectious diseases like COVID-19.”[2]

It’s hard to imagine, but one in four medical care facilities throughout the world lack basic water supplies, and 20 percent of them don’t have sanitation services. Furthermore, 40 percent of medical facilities don’t have soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub where they provide care.[3]

We all know clean water initiatives are essential for people’s health and children’s development, but we often don’t consider how water reduces poverty, increases peace and promotes education and productive societies.

Water Promotes — or Disturbs — Peace

At some water sources, certain groups may experience discrimination and be condemned by unfriendly neighbors. On a larger scale, fights over water “are leaving countries further downstream increasingly thirsty, increasing the risk of conflicts,” according to BBC Future.[4]

Water Reduces Poverty

It’s almost impossible for families to climb out of poverty when women and children spend much of their valuable time walking far distances to collect water when women could be earning income and children could be attending school. To make matters worse, these families often suffer from diarrhea, intestinal worms and other crippling diseases that stunt their physical and cognitive abilities because the water they work so hard to collect is contaminated. Around the world, children lose collectively about 443 million school days due to water-related illnesses.[5]

Water Fuels the Economy

Worldwide, inadequate water has been associated with $260 billion worth of economic losses, including health care, annually. However, every $1 invested in improved sanitation results in an average global economic return of $5.50, according to WHO.[6]

According to the United Nations, “By managing our water sustainability, we are also able to better manage our production of food and energy and contribute to decent work and economic growth.”[7]

Through it’s clean water initiatives, GFA World offers access to clean water through Jesus Wells and BioSand water filters as part of its efforts to “serve the least of these” and demonstrate the tangible love of Christ. Through these programs, more than 38 million people have received assistance, but many people still remain in need.

Learn more about access to clean water

[1] “Goal 6: Ensure Access to Water and Sanitation for All.” United Nations. Accessed December 23, 2021.
[2] “Billons of People Will Lack Access to Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in 2030 Unless Progress Quadruples, Warn WHO, UNICEF.” Joint press release by WHO and UNICEF. July 1, 2021.
[3] “Clean Water and Sanitation: Why It Matters.” United Nations. Accessed December 23, 2021.
[4] Milne, Sandy. “How Water Shortages Are Brewing Wars.” BBC. August 16, 2021.
[5] “Facts and Statistics.” WaterAid. Accessed December 23, 2021.
[6] Hutton, Guy. “Global Costs and Benefits of Drinking-water Supply and Sanitation Interventions to Reach the MDG Target and Universal Coverage.” WHO. 2012.
[7] “Clean Water and Sanitation: Why It Matters.” United Nations. Accessed Dec. 23, 2021.