Lifewater International | A Non-Profit Christian Water Development Organization

Providing water, health and hope since 1977

mWASH is the tool we use to show the poor that the Church cares for them.

“We shall not finally defeat AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, or any of the other infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking water, sanitation, and basic health care.”

—Former Director General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan

Clean and safe drinking water is what we commonly think of to solve a community’s disease problem. In reality, if we were able to provide clean and safe drinking water to every person on earth, the global water-borne disease burden would only be reduced by 21%. The same decrease would happen if every person on earth had access to a basic toilet facility. The power of clean and safe water is truly unleashed when it is combined with adequate sanitation and hygiene practices.

Lifewater has developed a missional approach to meet these urgent needs. We call this approach mWASH, which combines the best in water access, sanitation and hygiene. When combined, these elements are able to reduce the incidence of water-borne disease by at least 65% (source).1

 

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What does mWASH mean?

m = missional

When people feel powerless before humiliation, disease, and death, they often come to erroneous conclusions about God and his relationship with them. Christian water development alone cannot fully articulate God’s love in Christ, but when combined with evangelistic and discipleship efforts of the local church it proclaims God’s all-encompassing and redeeming love for the poor.

WA = Water Access

Sufficient access to safe water sources.

Lifewater’s strategy involves teaching local implementing partners the needed skills and providing them with drilling equipment, repair tools, and spring protection expertise. Thus, these partners are empowered to drill wells, repair broken hand pumps, protect natural springs, and use other techniques to provide safe water to their own communities.

S = Sanitation

Safe disposal of human excreta and wastewater.

Sanitation practices vary from one culture to another, and even within communities from one household to another. Lifewater considers the practices of the regions in which we work and teaches local implementing partners how to help families improve their sanitation to stop the spread of disease. Lifewater makes strategic investments in latrine design, construction, and innovation.

H = Hygiene

Cleanliness behaviors such as hand washing, using dish drying racks, and covering safe water containers.

The hygiene aspect of mWASH encompasses behaviors or actions that individuals can take to improve their health and stop the spread of disease. While access to safe water and improved sanitation is critical, hygiene behaviors are necessary for keeping water, hands, utensils, and the environment safe. Local partners conduct hygiene trainings, with the help of Lifewater’s curriculum which was developed using years of field experience, feedback, and knowledge of local practices.

  1. Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000 Report. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, 2000.
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