Do Water Organizations Save Lives?

You may have heard of a plethora of water organizations through which you can donate clean water to those in need, but do they really make a difference? Can these organizations and their work save lives?

Consider the following:

  • The United Nations reports “about 4 billion people experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year.”1
  • According to the World Bank, 65 percent of the world’s poor in some way relies on agriculture for their livelihoods.2 They need water for their crops and livestock in order to earn a living and feed their families.
  • In developing regions such as sub-Saharan African, as much as two-thirds of the population relies on surface water from sources such as rivers or lakes, which are often unsafe to drink.3 Many water sources in developing regions contain fecal matter, arsenic or other pollutants.4 UNICEF estimates 68 to 84 percent of water sources in South Asia are contaminated.5
  • Drinking contaminated water can lead to numerous water-borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, polio, dysentery and diarrhea.
  • According to the World Water Council, “Water-related diseases are the most common cause of illness and death among the poor of developing countries.”6
  • “Some 1.8 million people die every year of diarrheal diseases like cholera,” says Koshland Science Museum. “Tens of millions of others are seriously sickened by a host of water-related ailments—many of which are easily preventable.”7
  • The World Health Organization estimates 829,000 people will “die each year from diarrhoea as a result of unsafe drinking-water, sanitation, and hand hygiene.” They also estimate “the deaths of 297,000 children aged under 5 years could be avoided each year if these risk factors were addressed.”8

In contrast, GFA World, just one organization that provides clean water, has impacted more than 38 million people through its clean water initiatives. GFA World’s Jesus Wells and BioSand water filters freely offer clean, safe drinking water that protects people from a host of illnesses—which can lead to death—and improves their quality of life.

1 “The United Nations World Water Development Report 2019: Leaving No One Behind.” United Nations. 2019.
2 “Agriculture and Food.” The World Bank. Accessed August 30, 2021.
3 Rodriguez, Leah. “4 Factors Driving the Water & Sanitation Crisis in Africa.” Global Citizen. 7, 2019.
4 Luby, Stephen. “Water Quality in South Asia.” Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition. . June 2008.
5Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).” UNICEF. Accessed January 14, 2021.
6 “Water Supply & Sanitation.” World Water Council. Accessed August 11, 2021.
7 “Safe Drinking Water is Essential.” Koshland Science Museum. Accessed August 30, 2021.
8 “Drinking-water.” World Health Organization. June 14, 2019.