Clean Water

GFA World and Clean Water

Having regular access to clean water is something that can be easily taken for granted. If uncontaminated water readily spills out of the faucet when the handle is turned on, it’s hard to imagine a world where there is no guarantee the water is even there, let alone safe to drink. Unfortunately, that is a reality for many people in the world.

So, how many people don’t have access to clean water? As many as 2 billion people are living in water-stressed countries around the globe, and that number is expected to grow in some regions as a result of changing weather patterns and population growth.[1]

The Euopean Environmental Agency describes water stress occurring “…when the demand for water exceeds the available amount during a certain period or when poor quality restricts its use.[2] The poor quality of water is often caused by contamination, much of it from feces, which poses the greatest threat to drinking water around the globe. Most of the 2 billion people suffering from water stress are using water contaminated with feces.[3]

A lack of clean water and sanitation services leads to the spread of many preventable diseases, such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. About 829,000 people die each year from diarrhea contracted through unsafe drinking water, no sanitation, and no hand hygiene. This is largely preventable; in fact, diarrheal-related deaths of 297,000 children under the age of five could be avoided every year if these issues were addressed. In places where water is not readily available, hand-washing is not a priority, adding to the likelihood of spreading diseases. Parasites and insects also infest and breed in water, carrying diseases like dengue fever and malaria.[4]

Lacking pure water is a much bigger problem than just having enough water to drink.

Salil, a poor day laborer, lived in a village just below the Himalayan Mountains He, his wife and three kids drank, bathed in and washed their clothes in a local pond, just like all the other villagers.[5] The pond water was contaminated, and when the river that fed it would flood during monsoon season, the pond would fill with sand, forcing the people to dig for the water they needed.

The villagers suffered daily from nausea, high fevers, diarrhea and weakness. Jaundice, typhoid, and skin diseases were also incredibly common. These chronic illnesses made it difficult to work, so Salil and the other villagers were stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty. With so much sickness in his family, most of Salil’s meager income went toward medicine, leaving little to cover other necessities. No matter how hard he worked, the water was still contaminated, and his family was still frequently sick.

Then, a nearby GFA pastor befriended some of the villagers and became aware of their water crisis. He and other GFA missionaries decided to help, so they drilled a Jesus Well in the middle of the village, where everyone could access clean water. Salil’s family was no longer sick all the time, and he was overjoyed. One day, Salil met one of the GFA missionaries who were responsible for the well. The poor day laborer marveled at their compassion and generosity and wanted to know about the God they served. Thus, Salil came to know Christ through the blessing of the well.

He said, “Our family is blessed both physically and spiritually. We are free from problems and sickness. We also met the Living God in due time. It is because of the people who have spent their money to drill Jesus Well in my place. I have never seen them, but I’m always praying for them. Thank you very much.”[6]

Salil’s life was transformed in Asia, but Africa needs such help just as much. Why does Africa not have access to clean water? Africa’s climate is not particularly helpful when it comes to accessing clean water. Sub-Saharan Africa is primarily identified as desert, semi-forest and subtropic. The only significant river that brings water to this parched area is the Nile. Only 10 percent of Africa’s population lives in the valley of the most significant water source, the Congo River.[7]

This is just one of many issues that contributes to Africa’s status as a dry continent. GFA World is expanding its efforts into Africa, and GFA missionaries are already making a major impact. They have drilled two Jesus Wells in their African home base of Rwanda, with plans to add many more in coming years.[8]

GFA’s work to bring water to people in need in places such as Africa and Asia takes resources and manpower. We rely on donors’ generosity worldwide to make the ministry possible. It doesn’t take much to make a major difference. With just a $45 donation, GFA missionaries can provide drinking water for up to nine people for around 20 years.[9]

Please consider helping to turn the tides of the world’s water crisis by providing clean water in the name of Jesus Christ.

Learn more about the Africa water crisis

[1] “Drinking-water Facts Sheet.” World Health Organization. March 21, 2022.
[2] “Water Stress.” European Environmental Agency.,Term,%2C%20dry%20rivers%2C%20etc. Accessed January 2023.
[3] “Drinking-water Facts Sheet.” World Health Organization. March 21, 2022.
[4] Ibid.
[5] “A Jesus Well Transforms Salil’s Family.” GFA World. Accessed January 2023.
[6] “Clean Water: A Jesus Well Transforms Salil’s Family.” GFA World. Accessed November 17, 2022.
[7] “Blog: 4 Reasons Why People in Africa Suffer from a Lack of Clean Water.” Hydrotech. Accessed November 17, 2022.
[8] “GFA World Expands Ministry to Africa.” GFA World. Accessed November 17, 2022.
[9] “Clean Water.” GFA World. Accessed November 17, 2022.