A Shameful Headline

Dirty water kills 4,000 children each day.

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

These deaths are due to dirty water, poor sanitation and poor hygiene practices but the good news is that we can end water poverty. The truth is, people don’t have to die. You can save their lives.

Water poverty destroys lives and traps people in poverty.  Health is put in jeopardy, education is restricted, time to invest in a livelihood is robbed and a sick child means a parent can’t go to work.

How water poverty cripples families: 

  • Women and children in Africa and Asia have to walk between 4 to 14 miles carrying up to 20 Kg of water.
  • Water is full of harmful bacteria , such as diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera.
  • When children are sick they cannot attend school and this is what keeps so many families in the water poverty cycle.
  • Parents are unable to work because they are ill or collecting water.
  • Families unaware of the harmful effects of poor hygiene and sanitation are often spread deadly diseases.

By equipping families and communities with access to clean water, we are able to improve health, save lives and enable a future full of hope.

Learn about our current Water, Sanitation and Hygiene projects ► 

You can end water poverty by giving families access to clean water in the following ways:

Freshwater Wells And Boreholes

Samaritan’s Purse works with communities to install and rehabilitate hand-dug wells and boreholes. After a project is completed, we offer maintenance training to community members who will assume responsibility for upkeep.

Household Filters

These concrete filters use layers of sand and gravel to remove harmful microorganisms and pollutants from water gathered in streams, lakes, or ponds. Users take the murky liquid and transform it into clean drinking water.


Health and hygiene education is one of the best ways to reduce illness. We conduct workshops that focus on personal hygiene, hand washing with soap, food preparation, household sanitation, and proper waste disposal.


Properly built latrines greatly reduce the spread of waterborne disease and prevent diarrhea, one of the leading causes of death among children.

Water Protection

Capping natural springs and protecting rainwater catchments ensures that a community will have a consistent source of clean water.