charity: water, New York
Rishi Lahoti on April 14, 2019 in Food & Shelter
According to the UNICEF JMP 2015 report, 663 million people in the world live without clean water. That’s nearly 1 in 10 people worldwide. To give that context, twice the population of the United States. The impacts of this are far more wide ranging than malnutrition. It often leads to children not being able to get the education they need and parents not being able to work their jobs. charity: water is trying to solve that.
Founded in 2006 by Scott Harrison, it now has funded 29, 725 projects in over 26 countries. From their website, “After a decade of indulging his darkest vices as a nightclub promoter, Scott declared spiritual, moral, and emotional bankruptcy. He spent two years on a hospital ship off the coast of Liberia, saw the effects of dirty water firsthand, and came back to New York City on a mission. Upon returning to NYC in 2006, having seen the effects of dirty water firsthand, Scott turned his full attention to the global water crisis and the (then) 1.1 billion people living without access to clean water.” Their legitimacy is not questionable, with a 4/5 score on Charity Navigator.
So what do they do? Their many ways of reaching their goal of making clean water more accessible include hand dug wells to reach aquifers below and rainwater catchments through gutters on rooftop that carry water into sanitary tanks. Also included are biosand filters, piped systems, water purification systems, and spring protections. The result? A resounding impact. They have impacted the lives of 8,497,062 people through the implementation of their techniques. One of their bigger, more recent projects has been Pipeline.
Pipeline is a system on of local leaders, innovative technology and trained mechanics all working together to keep water flowing at charity: water projects around the world. The initial step of it is to train communities how to solve problems when basic issues arise. However, with more complex problems, the organization sends its partnered mechanics in the region. They also have remote sensors in development which when attached to a well can tell when it’s about to malfunction. Laid out on their website is their approach which goes like this: Geography, assessments of needs and the community’s willingness to work are all factored in the decision of choosing a location. After this, they choose a suitable technology for the terrain and circumstances and decide upon local partners. Next is determining project costs, working with local governments, and implementing technologies. This entire process takes about 21 months. To ensure sustainability of their projects, they use Pipeline and remotely track progress.
The greater effects of more access to clean water are numerous. According to the WHO, 43% of those deaths are children under five years old. Access to clean water and basic sanitation can save around 16,000 lives every week. Less time spent on searching for cleaning water means more time for education and being in class. In Africa alone, women spend 40 billion hours a year walking for water. Access to clean water gives communities more time to grow food, earn an income, and go to school -- all of which fight poverty.