The Need for Safe, Clean Drinking Water is NOW

The United Nations’ 2023 UN World Water Development Report paints a bleak picture of the huge gap that needs to be filled to meet U.N.’s goals to ensure all people have access to clean water and sanitation by 2030. It states immediate action is required to stop the global water crisis from spiraling out of control as 26% of the world’s population still does not have access to safe drinking water. Another 46% do not have access to well-managed sanitation facilities. UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, states, “Water is our common future, and it is essential to act together to share it equitably and manage it sustainably.” 

While we may take clean, safe water for granted; too many cannot. To eradicate this crisis, it requires organizations like Lifewater International, a non-profit Christian water charity to provide safe, clean water; and improve sanitation and hygiene, one village at a time. To continue reaching those most in need, Lifewater relies on the generosity of people like you. 

This is a crisis that disproportionately affects children as diarrheal disease, an illness caused primarily by contaminated water, poor sanitation and hygiene, is the world’s second leading cause of death for those under five years old. When safe water and sanitation is brought to a village, it can virtually eliminate diarrheal disease, saving countless young lives in the process.

Lifewater’s goal is to provide lasting, sustainable solutions to those we serve, and starts with identifying the most appropriate water source and viability of a project. Recognizing each community is unique and may have its own personal preferences, there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” clean water solution. 

Staying focused on the objective to provide safe, clean drinking water; our team takes a flexible approach for each location including respecting the views of the people who will use the water. Therefore projects require the following considerations: 

  • If a community already has an existing water source, is the most cost-effective solution to protect it from contamination?  
  • Can a natural spring be protected or is it better to install a water filtration system?
  • As sustainability is critical, can a community afford the upfront costs as well as costs of replacement parts and maintenance down the road?
  • Lastly, are there government regulations that prevent construction of the preferred water solution or slow down the process? 

The preplanning stage includes considering the best options such as: a hand-dug well; drilled well; rainwater harvesting; protecting a natural spring or rehabilitating an existing well. While initial surveys found many communities had a water source, almost half of them were not functioning and less than a quarter of them provided a sufficient amount of safe, clean drinking water. This highlights the importance of constructing an appropriate water source for the situation. 

Experience has taught Lifewater whether we are rehabilitating an existing source or starting from scratch, always do the following:

  • Avoid cutting corners and only use licensed, reputable contractors (or in-house employees). 
  • Follow international best practices and government standards for every type of water source.
  • Use sustainable materials that will last.

As a faith-based clean water organization, we work with local governments in low-income countries currently experiencing the worst of the global water crisis. Currently our focus is on Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Cambodia. Our approach includes walking with the community, and learning from and partnering with local leadership, as we implement the most locally appropriate solutions to water problems with the help of our donors. 

Another part of the process is to remember mechanical things break eventually, and to ensure measures are put in place from the start to address these problems. Solutions include setting up: 

  • A local supply and repair chain for high-quality spare parts.
  • Bank accounts or other safe, transparent saving mechanisms ready to address problems when they occur.
  • Access to local mechanics with the appropriate technical experience to do routine maintenance to keep the system tuned-up to avoid bigger problems and rapidly respond to any breakdowns. 

Lifewater’s experienced engineers design custom clean water solutions for every one of our projects, and local teams commit to regularly monitoring the water source. When a village’s water system requires a new part, the community is connected to a local supplier. For example, in parts of Lifewater’s Uganda programs, communities pay a monthly fee to the organization’s “WaterWorks” technicians who provide regular maintenance and timely repairs to make sure no Lifewater community has to go a day without it. Patrick, one of our technicians in Uganda, says, “Our work is to make sure these wells operate at optimum capacities.”

One of Lifewater’s recently completed projects in Mayuge, Uganda is reporting stunning results with cases of childhood diarrhea reduced by 72%! By giving families access to safe, clean water and sanitation, they gain time and opportunities that were previously impossible. Our work allows us to see how much women in particular benefit, for once water is nearby, they regain and repurpose the hours spent on long journeys for water. Before Lifewater programs, the median total time spent fetching water was 120 minutes; after a safe water source was completed; the median total time plummeted to only 25 minutes.

Browse our extensive website to learn more about Lifewater’s projects, our dedicated team, and most importantly the thousands of people we serve. With your help, we can eliminate the need for mothers with young children, school-aged children, the elderly, and people with disabilities to have to struggle to make the journey to access safe, clean water. 

This summer our Hydrate campaign launches and we plan to introduce some new, interesting ways to get more people involved in raising funds to support our water, sanitation and hygiene work. Please check back with us to learn more. Together we can make a difference; one village at a time. Join us by making a single donation or becoming a monthly donor through our website, by phone or by mail. 

Lifewater International is a top-rated charity in the United States and is endorsed by independent reporting organizations, including Guidestar, ECFA, and Charity Navigator. We are honored to serve all people regardless of religion, listening first and walking alongside community members as neighbors. Please give safe water today and help us eradicate this crisis village by village. 


Choose a Village. Change a Life.