Few crises are as urgent as the global water crisis. Clean water is the foundation of life, the world’s most essential resource. Without water, life cannot be sustained. People can’t survive longer than a week without water. Farmers can’t grow crops or care for livestock without water.
Approximately one in three people don’t have access to clean water. It’s a big number that’s hard to comprehend. Yet, each of those people is more than a statistic. They have families who love them and hope and dream of a better future. Yet, without access to clean water, one of life’s most basic needs, they’re trapped in a cycle of poverty and susceptible to illness and even death due to contaminated water.
Clean Water Builds Strong and Healthy Communities
In addition to these steep numbers, it is essential to note that those with the least access to water and sanitation are also the least likely to have good access to healthcare, which is key to a thriving community.
Clean water helps improve public health outcomes. However, approximately two billion people are estimated to use drinking water contaminated with feces, which can transmit devastating diseases including Cholera, Dysentery, Hepatitis, and Typhoid Fever. More than 600,000 children under five perish from diseases caused by polluted water each year, mostly in developing countries.
Typically, a lack of clean water means that a community’s healthcare infrastructure is unsanitary and lacking, so those who get sick cannot receive the care they need. When clean water isn’t available, it also impacts personal hygiene. Without access to clean water, people are forced to openly defecate in fields, forests, open water bodies, or traditional pit latrines, which may contaminate underground water tables.
When clean water exists, people are less likely to get sick and stay sick. As a result, they have better health outcomes for themselves and their children. Every dollar invested in clean water for a developing country delivers up to eight dollars in benefits.
Clean Water Drives Local Employment
In addition to addressing basic survival needs, clean water keeps people healthier, enabling them to prioritize seeking gainful employment. Furthermore, innovation, including the technologies that Thirst Relief harnesses to solve the clean water crisis, delivers employment and economic opportunities meaning that investment in these areas can also help communities thrive.
You may be surprised to learn that an estimated three out of every four jobs globally are heavily or moderately dependent on water. Therefore, water supply is a critical enabler for communities to create jobs for their populace and ultimately enhance their economy.
Likewise, reliable, clean water access diminishes the time necessary for people to search for water, which robs them of time but can also put them in danger. Without the time constraints of fetching water, they have more time to focus on employment, education, and other factors that help develop communities.
Sustainable Technologies Provide Employment
One of the wonderful byproducts of developing and implementing sustainable clean water access is the creation of local employment. For example, each time Thirst Relief and its partners build EcoSan toilets, it employs community residents to produce Interlocking Stabilized Soil Blocks (ISSBs).
The bricks are composed of mixed soil, cement, water, and other additives, and they are compressed with an ISSB machine. They are then laid and mortared in a staggered, interlocking fashion. Unlike conventional bricks, they don’t require oven firing, and can dry in the sun, making them a low cost option with minimal environmental impact. Bricks produced this way usually last longer than plastic tanks and are easy to repair.
The Thirst Relief team and its partners are committed to working tirelessly to bring clean water to the communities that need it most. When you support our organization, you help grow our mission and enhance our impact, including providing opportunities to gainfully employ people locally. There are multiple ways to help our cause, including fundraisers, sponsorship, and more. Ready to help make a difference?