| The movement for clean water


“Benjamin Franklin famously said, “When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” Those that live in the United States often do not think twice about the source of their water or whether it is safe to bathe in or drink. It is a luxury that billions of people worldwide do not know, an uncertainty that communities live with every day.

Throughout the movement for clean water access is an acronym called WASH, which stands for “water, sanitation and hygiene services.” This concept is used widely by our charity partners and other government entities that focus on worldwide clean water access to all communities by providing interventions, sustainable solutions and demonstrations that reduce waterborne illnesses and save lives.  Other initiatives also include creating educational opportunities and programs that teach communities techniques for improved sanitation and hygiene.

These organizations and government entities work on long-term solutions and respond to illness outbreaks in communities, lessening the impact of water-related conditions such as diarrhea, hepatitis, dysentery, typhoid fever and cholera. Access to clean water impacts other cause areas such as economic development, global health, education and women and girls’ equality.

This month, Global Impact is featuring charities that are working to provide safe water and sanitation services around the globe: MAP International, Islamic Relief USA, CMMB, Water For People and World Vision. The services and resources that these organizations provide serve each individual resident as well as the health of the overall community.

Global Impact charity partner Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) is working to ensure that communities have a sustainable source of clean water. Their large-scale water projects rebuild community infrastructure through interventions such as providing solar-powered water resources and raising awareness on best practices about sanitation and hygiene.

One of these essential projects is in Kone Beri, Niger, where the community’s water tank constructions have enabled kids to safely drink from school water fountains without the fear of becoming ill from contaminated water.

It is estimated that 10% of global farmland is irrigated with contaminated water. With IRUSA’s other projects focused on installing irrigation systems, rehabilitating viable water systems, building water tanks and training community members to use them, food comes from safe and attainable water sources.

The mission of the organization is to help break the cycle of poverty within these underserved communities. Women and girls are affected greatly by water insecurity, as they bear the burden of collecting and transporting water for their families, reducing valuable time that could be used to gain an education, create income or take care of their families.

Another charity partner, Water For People, founded an approach called “Everyone Forever” to provide clean water access and sanitation services for every resident. The name says it all – “everyone” means every individual, family, health clinic and school; “Forever” means that water and sanitation solutions are sustainable and communities can maintain this standard for generations to come. This will create a healthier community, increase survival rates of the population and improve overall quality of life for all residents.

Water For People believes that reliable and accessible clean water is the foundation of society and allows families to break the cycle of poverty to improve their lives. Water may be contaminated, leading to increased medical costs, illness and even death. In 2017, diarrheal related causes lead to 1.6 million deaths worldwide. Deaths from waterborne illnesses are preventable-but not without the right resources and community education.

Access to clean water also leads to independence for communities. Without obstacles such as sickness and time spent gathering water, families can spend time generating income in a variety of ways, such as harvesting agriculture, gaining an education and experiencing lifelong vocational opportunities.

In early 2022, Water For People joined the White House in discussions that resulted in the Global Water Security Action Plan. This plan emphasizes affordable and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services, locally led solutions, and combatting the inequity that results from water insecurity.

Boy splashing water on his face

Photo Credit: World Vision

Reaching some of the most susceptible populations in hard-to-reach areas, World Vision is a humanitarian aid organization that was founded in 1950 and its continuing mission is to advance WASH initiatives through four strategic goals:

  • Accelerating access to equitable WASH services
  • Deepening the focus on the most vulnerable communities
  • Demonstrating sustainable clean water impact
  • Leveraging business plans investments to create income-generating activities

World Vision notes that more than 800 children under the age of 5 die each day from common waterborne illness due to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene practices. Their work includes lifesaving interventions and education for the hardest-to-reach communities in the world.

In the wake of COVID-19 and future worldwide pandemics, World Vision stresses that clean water access and education about sanitation and hygiene is more essential than ever. Through their emergency plans and resources, they are ready to react and respond quickly wherever the need arises.

CMMB has worked to increase access to safe water throughout eight countries for decades. On the ground in South Sudan, CMMB works in a war-stricken area to provide clean water access to its residents.

Through their CHAMPS (Children and Mothers Partnership) program, CMMB provides effective and lifesaving services for pregnant women and mothers in eight communities across Haiti, Kenya, Peru, South Sudan and Zambia. The organization strives to reduce and eliminate the countless preventable deaths that occur from waterborne illnesses.

Water Management Committees for CMMB are trained to manufacture wells and provide employment opportunities for hand pump mechanics to repair wells in the community. Additionally, the charity distributes water purification sachets, which take unsafe drinking water and remove impurities to prepare the water for drinking. CMMB also constructs new, suitable latrines and provides canisters to harvest rainwater for reuse.

CMMB is committing to long-term, sustainable services in these communities with a 20-year plan to provide stepping stones to reliable, clean water. They work with local institutions and community health workers to lead proactive response efforts on WASH services by communicating with and visiting local homes. This approach is essential in cultivating communities to be strong and self-reliant.

Girl washing hands with water water can

Photo Credit: CMMB

We know this: water is essential for life, and billions of people worldwide do not have a viable resource to access it. Adequate clean water supply can equate to economic stability, equality and breaking the generational cycle of poverty for millions of people. With our charity partners and supporters like you, we are collectively making a powerful impact on the lives of those in underserved communities.

We invite you to pledge to bring clean water to improve the lives of millions of people – there are a variety of ways to accomplish this goal!

  • Share a post from one of the water charities on Facebook and let your friends know that you support the work that they are doing.
  • Consider donating to the Clean Water Cause Fund: one donation benefits five water-related charities, advancing resources and global health.
  • Make a splash in your workplace giving campaign by donating to one of the above-listed water-related charities! Through payroll deduction and matching programs, your dollar goes further to impact clean water access worldwide.


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