It’s not always a drought that leads to a water crisis.
Sometimes water is plentiful, but that doesn’t mean the water is safe. Watering holes, rivers, even wells can be just as life-threatening as a lack of water.
See what it looks like to live without clean water (and what you can do to help).
In rural Kenya, elementary school students walk for miles to gather water from a dirty watering hole. This same hole is shared with livestock and other animals, and without rainfall the water remains stagnant, collecting bacteria and other contaminants.
At first glance, it looks like a hole in the ground, but upon closer inspection water can be seen just below the surface. When the rainy season comes, water collects in this hole for the villagers to gather from. The water is filled with sand and only increases the spread of waterborne diseases in the village.
Jur River Region, South Sudan
Mary, 9 years old and in the first grade, collects water before school in the Jur River. She dreams of traveling the world but spends most of her time carrying water between her home and the river.
In an overcrowded refugee camp in Bangladesh clean water is severely limited. Refugees collect water from dirty ponds or where it pools in ravines next to makeshift tents. During monsoon season, water becomes a deadly force as it rushes through the camp and floods tents and walkways.
Mayen, South Sudan
Elizabeth gathers water from a man-made well near her home. Describing it as a “well” is a bit of a stretch as it resembles more of a mud pit than a source of drinking water. Her village has a clean water well but it is too far for her to walk and collect water from.
This family in Hindupara lives near a well and collects water from it daily. But not long after the well was installed, they began to notice strange rashes on their skin and suffered painful stomachaches. Though meant to provide relief from disease, the well was improperly installed and contaminated with arsenic. But since this well is the only source of water nearby, the family still collects water from it even though the arsenic makes them sick.
Providing access to clean water is just the first step in holistic village transformation, but it’s one of the most important.
So how can you help?
It’s simple – when a family has access to a water filter, they are able to remove 99% of the germs, bacteria, and parasites that cause waterborne disease.