Across the globe 748 million people still lack access to clean drinking water every day. Dirty water leads to a whole host of waterborne diseases including diarrhea, one of the top three killers of children under the age of five. One of the main challenges that NGOs face when providing clean water to people is that there is rarely a guarantee that when clean water is provided to a village or community it will continue to flow.
World Vision is the largest NGO provider of clean water in low- and middle-income countries. In fact, in 2014, World Vision provided clean drinking water to people in 2,416 villages in Africa. And, because of their work, one person gets access to clean water every 30 seconds.
On a recent trip to the Philippines with World Vision USA I saw some of their water projects in small, rural villages. AfterTyphoon Haiyan World Vision worked to get clean water flowing via gravity from springs to villages at the base of mountains. In addition to providing water to the villages, World Vision also provides community awareness programs to also teach the community members about sanitation.
“Instead of spreading water access evenly throughout communities, we’re focused on getting the job done in village after village and then moving on to new communities,” said Greg Allgood, vice president of water at World Vision. “Our goal is simple — everyone should have access to clean water that lasts.”
When I visited one village women were crowded around their new water resource washing clothes. The water feeds into a large, cemented tub of water making water access easier for the women to collect water for cooking and for washing.
Before, there was water without a shed or cement, just dirt,” said Melanie Alio, 30, and mother of two, 7 and 4. “Now that it has been improved even if it rains I can put the clothes on the floor because it is cemented. ”
Mary Jane Laurenite, 16, who was helping her mother do the wash, echoed Alio’s sentiments. “This water resource is very helpful,” she said. “Before the typhoons came only a small amount of water came up. Now it is abundant.”
During the rainy season months (May – October), the waterflow is more abundant than the other times of the year. The good thing, however, is the water is flowing in a much larger volume than prior to the hurricane. And, even more importantly, the community members have been taught by World Vision staff to
Learn more about World Vision’s water programs at www.worldvision.org.