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water.

simply put, access to safe and reliable water is not a reality for most people in the developing world.
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LACK OF ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER

Impacts Time

Women typically dedicate 5-6 hours each day to fetching water.

There are zero development productivity hours left for these women to pursue income-generating projects as all of their time is devoted to obtaining the most basic of human necessities.

 

Poverty, and all trappings associated with it, stem from water issues.  Conversely, the ability to lift oneself out of poverty and towards development is fundamentally rooted in water access.

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LACK OF ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER

Impacts Health

80% of all disease in the Developing World is caused by a lack of access to clean drinking water. With no source of clean water available nearby, women and their children are forced to walk an average of 3 miles each way to get dirty water - twice a day. The most common water sources are stagnant ponds or pooled water usually shared by livestock that defecate along the perimeter.

Over three million people, mostly children, die annually from water-related diseases.

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DIARRHEAL DISEASES 

 

Most of these deaths result from diarrheal diseases, which are caused by the ingestion of water contaminated by fecal matter, as well as by inadequate sanitation and hygiene. 

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COGNITIVE DAMAGE

Chronic consumption of unsafe drinking water can lead to permanent cognitive damage and left physically stunted for the rest of their lives.

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CHILDREN AT RISK

 

Children weakened by frequent diarrhea episodes are more likely to be seriously affected by malnutrition and opportunistic infections such as pneumonia.

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LACK OF ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER

Impacts Education

ATTENDANCE

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Consuming contaminated water, and being consumed by the burden, translates into deplorable attendance in schools. Fetching water with their mother takes priority over school.

The average attendance rate in school is just 60%.

GROWTH

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Unsafe drinking water can lead to permanent cognitive damage because of diseases such as schistosomiasis.

 

Teachers are not equipped to handle these learning difficulties and children who fall behind simply drop out of school. 

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LACK OF ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER

Impacts Women & Girls
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THE WATER ISSUE IS A WOMEN'S ISSUE

The fundamental right of women and girls to have access to health, education, and opportunity is recognized as a human rights issue by the United Nations. Women and girls are the water bearers who tend to suffer the most in Africa's rural, lower socio-economic areas.

 

Not only does the water crisis impact education, but it also makes it impossible for women to participate in income-generating activities or have a voice in their community.

 

The women in these remote & rural areas have the capacity to learn, contribute and share so much with their community and the world around them, but what they do not have is time and equal opportunity for education because their lives are dedicated to fetching water 6 – 8 hours every day of their life from 7 years old.

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MENSTRUAL HEALTH & DIGNITY

Since there is no water source at the school and no place to clean, girls do not go to school while menstruating due to shame and embarrassment. That, by itself, means missing 1/4 of their school days!

 

Urinary tract infections arising from delayed urination or reduced water intake to cope with a lack of access to sanitation facilities are widespread; and the loss of dignity and threat of sexual assault due to the isolation of and lack of toilets, both in times of stability and crisis, are clearly massive issues to be prevented. 

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A UNIVERSAL ISSUE

Access to clean water is a human right.
WATER AS A
HUMAN RIGHT
UNITED NATIONS
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

In 2002, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights affirmed that “the human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses” and that “the human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity” and that it is “a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights.”

The 2030 United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development offers a historic opportunity to set a new course for the next era of global human development – one that promises transformational change for children and their families.

 

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are at the centre of this new agenda – with a distinct sector goal (SDG 6) that envisions universal, sustainable, and equitable access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as the elimination of open defecation by 2030.

WATER, SANITATION & HYGIENE
WASH

WASH stands for Water, Sanitation & Hygiene. It is tackled in unison because one depends on the other to have the intended impact.

 

An estimated 900 million people lack access to an improved water source and more than 2.5 billion lack adequate sanitation facilities.

 

Poor WASH is the main cause of fecally - transmitted infections (FTIs), including cholera and diarrheal disease, which remains the second leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children under the age of five, and the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Poor WASH is also strongly associated with malaria, polio, and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) such as guinea worm, schistosomiasis, helminths and trachoma that have a debilitating effect on children and their families.

Poor WASH also acts as barriers to education for girls and to economic opportunity for the poor.

Access to WASH contributes to numerous other UN goals including those relating to nutrition, health, education, poverty and economic growth & gender equality.

There is no question that the water crisis in the developing world is urgent - and many donors have pledged to solve this issue. 

 

Huge sums of money are invested in water-supply systems around the world. Yet many of these systems fail - especially in rural areas - because local communities are not involved in their planning, construction, and management.

 

In Mozambique, 40% of all funding in the water sector is used to rehabilitate broken or abandoned wells.

 

THIS WELL SHOULD LAST FOR 20 YEARS.

 

As you will see, via the establishment of Water Oversight Committees and training over 4 months with Water Underground, we emphasize sustainability and encourage healthy development for the community - on their terms.

 

Monitoring & Evaluation on behalf of both Water Underground and the community is vital to the sustainability of the project. Learn more about that here.

Sustainability.
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WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD?

 

If a global effort is to alleviate poverty and give people the tools necessary to climb themselves out of their vulnerable situation while instilling dignity and self-reliance, then

water is the bottom rung
of that development ladder.

Each Water Underground follows the same model. It all starts with a water well placed in the school - but serving the entire community. We accompany the water well with:

 

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A COMPREHENSIVE CLTS PROGRAM

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SCHOOL SANITATION CENTER WITH MENSTRUAL HYGIENE

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27,000 SQ. FT. COMMUNITY GARDEN

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ESTABLISHMENT OF WATER OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

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TRAINING OVER A 4 MONTH PERIOD

The student attendance rates increase, girls' confidence is nurtured, ownership of a future is fostered, income-generating projects are explored, disease and cost of caring for the sick dwindle, and the once fragile idea of a future now becomes something to tangibly pursue.

WE ALL HAVE A STORY TO CONTRIBUTE

Leave your legacy,
so that others
can realize theirs.

Everyone has a legacy to contribute to the world - including a mother who doesn't have to worry and struggle with the lack of dignity about serving her child dirty water. The effects of a person's legacy can quietly ripple across entire continents and oceans for many years to come.

 

Allowing an entire rural population to seize life and be a part of this global community is not just a gift to them, but it is a gift to each one of us.