Clean Water

How Many People Don’t Have Access to Clean Water?

The answer to “how many people don’t have access to clean water?” can be a little disheartening, but it should encourage us to work harder to be part of the solution to end the water crisis.

In 2020, 74 percent of the world’s population used a safely managed water source, meaning one located on the premises, available when needed and free from contamination.[1] That means 26 percent of the population did not have readily available clean water; either they must walk a long distance to get it, or it is contaminated, or both. Approximately 2 billion people live in water-stressed countries, and that number is expected to grow due to weather changes and population growth.[2] Of those 2 billion people, 368 million are using water from unprotected wells and springs, and 122 million are drinking from untreated surface water such as lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.[3]

The United Nations has stated that access to water and sanitation is a human right, and water underpins progress across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Water is connected to hunger, health, education, livelihoods, sustainability and ecosystems.[4] As part of showing people the love and care of Christ, GFA World national missionaries work to bring clean water to families and communities suffering without it. Along with fresh water bore wells we install, called Jesus Wells, GFA provides BioSand water filters, which make contaminated water 98 percent pure and can last up to 20 years with proper care.[5]

As a farmer in Asia, Aanjay and his family constantly got sick from the dirty water they had to use to cook and drink.[6] Whether it was treating jaundice, typhoid or diarrhea, someone always needed medicine, and much of Aanjay’s small income went toward that instead of other necessities. Bathing in filthy water often resulted in skin infections as well. Other families in the village suffered similarly, struggling through life with the consequences of contaminated water. They desperately needed help.

Fortunately, GFA pastors in Aanjay’s region were able to give him and several other families BioSand water filters, which would purify their water, making it safe to drink. Along with the filters, the villagers received health and hygiene training, showing them how to further prevent future illnesses. Aanjay’s family stopped getting sick all the time, and they got a break from the constant medical expenses.

He said, “Not only were the physical water needs of believers and villagers met, but also our inner thirst for love of the Lord and for one another too are being met very strongly. While these filters and training are making an incredible difference in the physical well-being of the recipients, many are also gaining the peace and freedom found in following Jesus Christ.”[7]

A gift of just $30 can provide a family or small community with clean water through a BioSand water filter. Consider joining the effort to help end the global water crisis and change lives with hope and the love of God.

Learn more about clean water

[1] “Drinking-water Facts Sheet.” World Health Organization. March 21, 2022.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] “Water Facts.” UN Water. Accessed November 18, 2022.
[5] “Drinking-water Facts Sheet.” World Health Organization. March 21, 2022.
[6] “Water Filters Are Making an Incredible Difference.” GFA World. Accessed November 18, 2022.
[7] “Clean Water: Water Filters Are Making an Incredible Difference.” GFA World. Accessed November 18, 2022.