Water-related Health Organizations
by Rebecca Shore
For years organizations from around the world have focused time and energy on helping alleviate the growing water scarcity issues in developing nations. They have built wells, educated the public, assisted in political activism, built water pumps, and much more. These gestures, both small and large have significantly helped millions of people living without access to water or drinking contaminated water. A few of these organizations and projects are Charity: Water, UNICEF’s Tap Project, Children’s Safe Drinking Water, Water.org, and CARE.
Charity: Water is a non-profit organization bringing safe and clean drinking water to people in developing nations. They send 100% of their donations to fund sustainable water projects in places all over the world. In the past four years, Charity: Water has raised over $20 million dollars, funded 3,962 water projects, and served 1,794,983 people internationally. They implement a range of solutions, including hand-dug wells, drilled wells, rehabilitation for the sick, spring protects, rain water catchments and BioSand filters. Charity: Water does not only help villages, but they also fund projects in clinics and schools, and fund sanitation programs. Most recently, they expanded their work into Nepal, but they also have projects in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. Lastly, they have events all over the world to spread awareness about issues going on in developing areas.
The UNICEF Tap Project began in 2007 in New York City when restaurants began asking their patrons to donate $1 dollar or more for normally free water, which would then go to raising money for children in developing nations who do not have access to clean water. Since then, the project has raised almost $2.5 million dollars and become a world-wide movement to help provide children with safe, accessible water. Most recently, the Tap Project is having an event called Celebrity Tap, where celebrities like Taylor Swift and Robin Williams donate bottles of their own tap water for people to bid on and the winner gets the water and the money goes to children in need. This year, the Tap Project will specifically donate the money to Togo, the Central African Republic and Vietnam.
Children’s Safe Drinking Water, or CSDW, is focal philanthropic program under the company Proctor & Gamble that helps bring sanitary water to developing nations. Since 1995, P&G has worked with the CDC to develop a safe drinking water system that people can easily use in their homes, called the PUR packet. The PUR packet is a quick and simple way for people to clean their water. It is a powder mixture that removes pathogenic microorganisms and suspended matter, making the water clean. In studies, the PUR packet has been found to eliminate 99.9% of intestinal bacteria like cholera, 99.9% of intestinal viruses like hepatitis A, and 99.9% of protozoa. The PUR packets have also been found to reduce diarrheal diseases up to 90%. Also, since 1994 over 1.6 million liters of clean water have been distributed to people in developing nations.
Water.org is a U.S. based non-profit organization committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing nations. They work with local partners to understand the issues their people are facing specifically in each village, town or city, therefore tailoring the solution to the needs of the community. Some of the solutions include building wells, creating latrines, and educating the community so that the projects can be successful and self-sustainable in the future. Water.org works in countries all over the world, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Bangladesh, India, Philippines, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, and Honduras. The program works by loaning communities or individuals the money to build or finance a water project and once the water project is successful, the money will be repaid back to Water.org. When the money gets repaid back to Water.org it can then be redeployed for another individual or community to use. This method empowers locals to take charge and be proud of their work and ultimately, they will keep the project working because of the effort they put into making it successful.
CARE is another organization working towards providing clean water to areas in need. For the past five decades, they have understood the link between poverty and lack of water, and have implemented programs to try to create sustainable water options, ultimately helping to alleviate poverty as well. Their first sanitation and water project started in 1957 and since then, it has expanded to include health and hygiene education; and sanitation through latrines. They have also implemented small-scale irrigation programs in needy communities. CARE currently works in 44 countries and has 115 projects.
All of these organizations and programs, plus many more, are extremely important to helping people in developing nations. They each bring something different to the people and communities in need, and also create awareness for the problems going on outside of our own country.