A Shameful Headline

Preventable, waterborne disease is killing 4,000 children a day.

That’s one child every 20 seconds, three children every minute, 1.5 million children a year, of which 90% are children under the age of 5.

We regularly hear on the news about death through conflict or natural or man-made disasters but, somehow, the sheer scale of human tragedy caused by dirty water overseas, EVERY DAY, increases our blindness to it.

What makes this worse is that these CHILDREN NEED NOT DIE, their deaths are preventable, that is the real tragedy.

But this is not just about death caused by waterborne disease. Lack of access to clean, safe water keeps families and communities trapped in WATER POVERTY.

  • Some women and children in Africa and Asia have to walk up to 14 miles a day to find water (the average is 4 miles) and then have to carry up to 20 Kg of water (the weight of your holiday luggage), usually on their heads, on their walk home.
  • As if that wasn’t bad enough, the water they are collecting is not clean, or safe. Very often it will contain harmful bacteria that will lead to diseases, such as diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera, which can and do make children sick.
  • When children are sick they cannot attend school and this is what keeps so many families in the WATER POVERTY CYCLE.
  • Giving families access to safe, clean water is the only way to end the water poverty cycle; children are healthy, mothers can work, children can get an education and have better prospects in life

This is a vicious circle, one that sees 4,000 children dying – every day – one that leaves so many families in grief and despair – every day!

These deaths are due to dirty water, poor sanitation and poor hygiene practices but the GOOD NEWS is that we can end water poverty.

With your help, Samaritan’s Purse can:

  1. Provide access to clean safe water, nearby (not miles away), working in and with communities to drill or repair boreholes supplying water for many families and individuals. We also provide hand dug wells, find accessible sources of water and protect fresh water springs.
  2. Make dirty water clean, and safe to drink or use, by installing water filters that kill 95% of bad bacteria.
  3. Conduct training in health, hygiene and proper sanitation. Simple things like good hand washing practices before cooking, before eating and after using the loo.
  4. Provide sanitation, predominantly through clean and hygienic latrines, with placement of these downstream from the local water source.

Our goal is to break the stranglehold of water poverty and give families what they need to ensure that their children are healthy, that they can all attend school, that their mothers can work and that they would be safe from harm or abuse. We have the opportunity to end the water poverty cycle and help so many families rebuild their lives with genuine hope for the future replacing so much despair.

“…I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…” (Matt 25:35, NIV)