“More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war. These deaths are an affront to our common humanity, and undermine the efforts of many countries to achieve their development potential.”
-Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations March 22, 2010
The United Nations has declared March 22 International World Water Day. World Water Day celebrates water and brings attention to worldwide water-related issues, such as a lack of safe drinking water, a lack of water for sanitation purposes, distant water sources and water-borne illness. While we celebrate the great impact water has on our lives, we must also acknowledge the need for access to safe and clean water for many.
The 2015 World Water Day theme is Water and Sustainable Development. This theme emphasizes the sustainable solutions to improve water systems. The Hunger Project believes community-led, sustainable solutions are the only pathway for creating long-term change. We work to empower rural communities to ensure increased access to clean water and improved sanitation, the development of new water resources, and the implementation of water conservation techniques.
And, it works. Investing in safe water has high returns: studies for every US$1 invested there is, on average, at least a $4 return — with benefits ranging from time savings and productivity gains to budget savings on national healthcare (WHO, 2012).
What We Do:
- Building Capacity: Establishing water project boards made up of community leaders who are trained by experts on how to monitor, maintain and repair water systems; training people in the use and repair of water pumps and generators; and training a core of local leaders in water safety and purification so they can lead workshops throughout the community and expand grassroots knowledge.
- Developing New Sustainable Water Sources: Empowering local communities to drill new wells and boreholes and repair existing ones; build and repair water towers; and construct water troughs for livestock. In Mexico in 2014, over 300 people participated in community projects to improve access to water.
- Ensuring a Reliable Supply of Clean Water: Providing equipment and training for testing and pumping water; empowering communities to build and repair latrines in homes, schools and public spaces; and lobbying local governments to devote public resources to water infrastructure projects.
- Implementing Water Conservation Techniques: Mobilizing communities to initiate drip irrigation projects, which minimize the use of water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, and to develop water catchment systems, which collect rainwater from a roof or other surface before it reaches the ground and store it for future use.
- Sanitation Programs: Good hygiene is more than a convenience, water borne illness is a leading cause of childhood deaths around the world. The Hunger Project trainings and capacity building projects improve living conditions and save lives. In Africa in 2014, 961 latrines were constructed, installed, or rehabilitated.
Water and Sanitation
Community Members Bring Safe Drinking Water to Villages in Uganda
Water, Sanitation & Environment in Uganda
Water, Sanitation & Environment in Senegal
Water, Sanitation & Environment in Mozambique
Water, Sanitation & Environment in Malawi
Water, Sanitation & Environment in Ethiopia
Water, Sanitation & Environment in Burkina Faso
Water, Sanitation & Environment in Benin
Safe Drinking Water Alleviates Worry for Epicenter Community (2013)
Clean Water from Epicenter Borehole Unites Community of Women (2012)
World Water Day Social Media Pages: