Ensuring Access to Safe Drinking Water

Tested Tubewell in Bangladesh

"Water gives life to everything, including human development and human freedom."
-UN Human Development Report 2009

Without water, life could not exist; it is one of life's most fundamental basic needs. Without water, food can not grow. Yet an estimated 1 billion people still do not have access to safe drinking water; 2.5 billion lack access to basic sanitation services; and 2.8 billion live in river basins with some form of water scarcity (UN 2008). Almost 2 million children die each year due to lack of clean water and adequate sanitation (UNDP 2006). And, millions of women and girls, often at the expense of their education, spend hours every day fetching water.

The provision of safe drinking water is one of the topmost priorities of our programs in every region where we work. Our partners around the world are making enormous progress in this regard. Some of the latest highlights from the last six months are featured below.

Fifteen safe water supply projects are under construction in Jaldu, Debre Libanos, Mesqan and Machakel Epicenters in Ethiopia to provide safe drinking water to the communities. Partners at Jaldu Epicenter also recently completed a project, in partnership with Rotary International, to provide safe drinking water to 6,000 members of their community. Learn more.

Between 2002 and 2007, partners in Malawi drilled 22 boreholes, which provide safe drinking water to 3,900 households (each household with an average of five people).

In Uganda, via a partnership with Population Services International (PSI), we provided water treatment tablets to our partners in Iganga Epicenter. We also now have 253 volunteer leaders ("animators"), who are training people in water purification technologies. Waterborne illnesses have been reduced by over 70 percent in our epicenters in Uganda.

In Bangladesh, trained animators tested 1,750 tube wells to ensure water is clean and arsenic-free. Also, during the last six months, 11 special Vision, Commitment and Action Workshops focused on improving hygiene practices, sanitation and access to safe drinking water.

Village Leader Improves Access to Water and Improved Sanitation in Her Community

B. Rani Devaraj is president of her village council (panchayat) in Tamil Nadu, India. She decided to run for election because she wanted to improve the health and sanitation of the people in her community and solve the drinking water problem.

Rani attended THP's Women's Leadership Workshop. According to Rani, the leadership skills she learned at the workshop have empowered her to begin her journey toward realizing her vision. The training gave her an understanding of how a panchayat works, and, especially, what her role in it is. She recognized that elected members who have also participated in THP's training were very united in working together to address the fundamental issues in their community and bring about the necessary changes.

Among many other accomplishments during her tenure, Rani has accessed government funds for the construction of community latrines for women and girl children and the provision of safe drinking water to nine villages.

Rani has dedicated her time and energy to ensure the development of her panchayat. She believes that there is no scarcity of resources in India, but that what is lacking is the distribution of these resources to the poor and the marginalized.

Learn more about Rani.

Join THP in ensuring safe drinking water and adequate sanitation by investing now. You will be saving children's lives, enabling girls to return to school, and empowering people to lead healthy and productive lives.