"He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water." Isaiah 49:10
In many thirsty, desolate communities, bleak life expectancy rates have imprinted a familiar saying – "water is life" – deep into the community’s state of mind. More than 1 billion people do not have access to clean, safe water. Their only alternative is to drink from dirty, disease-infested water sources. A child dies every 15 seconds from a water-related disease. This amounts to nearly 6,000 deaths, or the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing, every day. Water related diseases, including cholera, typhoid, dysentery, and guinea worm, kill more than 5 million people every year. On the other hand, the average American uses 170 gallons of water every day. Americans spend more than $61 billion on soft drinks every year. That's 15 times USAID's (United States Agency for International Development) annual budget!
This picture is from my dad's trip to Uganda. For one village, this was the water source before construction of the clean water well. It's pretty gross, dirty and unhealthy for drinking, but people had no other option before construction of the clean water well.
Jesus often used water as an illustration of life (check out John 4 for an example), and he spoke of the impact made by providing even one cup of cold water (Matthew 10:42). When a community gains access to safe water, its children's chances of survival immediately double and the outlook of the entire community is transformed. It's not just water though transforming a community. It's the redeeming power of Jesus Christ that is really at work, through us.
A clean water well, constructed by World Vision. WaSH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) is one aspect of what World Vision does in its development work.
*All statistical information is from World Vision