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Safe water, proper hygiene saves lives worldwide

March 22, 2017 • Worldwide
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Finding water within a short walk is a challenge in many parts of the world.

Samaritan’s Purse celebrates communities restored and lives changed as we provide the essential gift of water in Jesus’ Name.

Where most of us live it’s easy to assume we’ll wake up with enough water to bathe, to cook, and, most important, to drink. But this is not the case for hundreds of millions of people.

Many families and communities around the world can’t count on a water supply for next month, or next week, or even tomorrow. Helping to change this reality is a privilege as we bring the life-saving gift of clean water in Jesus’ Name.

Water Projects

Water insecurity almost caused an epidemic along Haiti’s southern peninsula after Hurricane Matthew struck last year.

Samaritan's Purse helps provide families all over the world with access to clean water.

Samaritan’s Purse helps provide families all over the world with access to clean water.

Only a few days after the sky cleared Samaritan’s Purse medical teams reported cases of the deadly disease cholera. The storm had mixed dirty water with clean and had destroyed infrastructure in many towns.

No clean water was available after the storm, so desperate populations became ill from drinking what they found in streams and stagnant pools. The fallout was swift, as was the illness—cholera cases skyrocketed in many communities.

“I was scared because I thought I was going to die,” said 56-year-old Jean Emilue Saintil, who came to us wasted away from fluid loss due to cholera. “Without you I would be dead.”

Our Cholera Treatment Centers saved lives, and we helped prevent further illness by equipping homes with water treatment kits and re-establishing communities’ access to clean water sources.

A Daily, Life-or-Death Struggle

The daily struggle for clean water is literally a matter of life and death. And Betty James can tell you how it’s made worse by the armed conflict in her country.

Displaced by war in South Sudan, Betty and her six children first arrived at a refugee resettlement area in Uganda where she had to fetch stagnant water from a nearby pond.

Then Samaritan’s Purse showed up and stationed a safe water tank 50 meters away from her home.

“I do not have to walk a long distance to fetch water. It’s near my house and my children can fetch it easily, too,” said Betty.

The young mother now helps lead the water user committee to keep these precious water sources clean of contamination.

Samaritan’s Purse in Action

Our international staff assist communities in water crisis by providing equipment, supplies, and training, and by properly initiating WASH programs. Here are the ways we help:

A community in Niger accesses a rehabilitated freshwater well

A community in Niger accesses a rehabilitated freshwater well.

For Households: BioSand Filters (BSFs), a Canadian invention, use layers of sand, gravel, and naturally occurring micro-organisms to transform contaminated water into safe water in seconds. In addition to a BSF, families receive health and hygiene training and when appropriate a latrine. As a result, not only is their thirst quenched, but their health and income also improve-what’s more, children can be saved from devastating illness and even death.

For Schools: This solution can include a Samaritan Filter, hand-washing stations, health and hygiene training, as well as male and female latrines. Your contribution can help keep up to 225 students healthy and engaged in class by keeping them hydrated with safe water that won’t hurt them-or their education-while also reinforcing good hand-washing habits.

For Communities: Samaritan’s Purse builds water wells, rainwater reservoirs, and storage tanks that give the gift of water security to struggling communities for years to come. Combined with health and hygiene training and latrines, villages can conquer water-related challenges.

Through these tangible opportunities to provide clean water, many people have heard of the Living Water, Jesus Christ, and the eternal hope and power of the Gospel. Help turn on the tap to safe water.