Global Water Crisis
There’s nothing like a cold drink of water on a hot day. Unfortunately, due to the global water crisis, the refreshment of clean water isn’t available for many people around the world. Many communities are lacking this essential part of life. The crisis occurs when there is a lack of sufficient clean water for the population.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) say that 785 million people lack a basic drinking-water service.1
How does this global water crisis impact families in these communities, and how can we stop the water crisis?
Contaminated water causes illness and disease
When clean water isn’t readily available, people resort to the water that is available. Oftentimes, that water is contaminated with feces. Serious diseases can result, including dysentery, typhoid, polio, and cholera. Every year, people die from these diseases because they drink contaminated water. Many of these deaths are easily prevented through education and providing access to clean water.
Lack of water causes a lack of dignity
Another aspect of the water crisis is the lack of toilets and hygiene training. In many cultures, learning hygiene begins at a very young age and is taught consistently as a child ages. However, in the poorest areas of the world, children haven’t been trained in proper hygiene skills. When a child doesn’t have access to toilets and sanitation facilities, they are more likely to get sick and then miss school.
When a community has toilets as well as a clean location to wash hands, it brings dignity. In many areas, families use bushes, rice paddy fields, or the roadside to relieve themselves. It’s difficult for children and the elderly to walk to these areas. Diseases spread and the water supply they do have is then contaminated. Community or family toilets provide dignity and safety.
Gathering water takes time
In many areas, girls and women are in charge of gathering water. This task may seem easy to us, but in some areas, these women and girls must walk miles to find water. This takes hours and is often the time girls should be in school. For women, this task demands a lot of time that could be used at her job. When families have a clean water well near their homes, it means the girls can go to school and women can bring in income to help support their families. Here’s more global water crisis facts to consider.
Many are asking how to help the water crises in Asia and Africa. At GFA, we tackle the global water crisis head on.
First, we provide communities with clean water sources through our Jesus Wells. These wells are dug up to 200 meters deep (further if needed) to ensure water is available year-round. The well is installed with a heavy-duty handpump and the pump can have a lifespan of 20 years. You can help the water crisis by investing in a well for a local community in Asia or Africa. For only $1,400, you can help bring fresh clean water to people who don’t have this essential for life.
Pastor Suraj and his church began to pray for God to provide a Jesus Well. His village was walking long distances to draw water from a well, but it often ran dry. Then the people would draw water from a nearby river that was contaminated. God answered their prayers for a Jesus Well and now the community has their own source of clean drinking water. Pastor Suraj has had opportunities to share about Jesus to those who visit the well.
Second, we provide individual families with BioSand Filters. These filters strip the water of impurities and prevent waterborne illnesses. In fact, the filters make water 90 percent pure! Elicia, a behind-the-scenes missionary at Gospel for Asia told us about how a BioSand filter changed someone’s life:
“She used to gather water from a pig pond—now her whole family drinks clean water because of a BioSand water filter!”
Third, we provide sanitation facilities to families and their neighbors. Sakash and his family didn’t have access to a toilet. His family would relieve themselves in the bushes or dig a hole in the garden. He didn’t have financial resources to construct a toilet, so GFA stepped in to provide a toilet for Sakash, his family and his neighbors. They no longer have to worry about the spread of disease due to improper sanitation.
Fourth, at GFA we focus on teaching basic health and hygiene awareness in communities across Asia and Africa. When families begin practicing basic hygiene, health improves. There are many myths regarding how to treat injuries and illness, so it takes time to counteract those misconceptions. At GFA, our Medical Ministries sends teams of trained nurses and doctors to visit villages, ministering to thousands of people each year in the name of Jesus.
1 Water Stress: The Unspoken Global Crisis. GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/dying-of-thirst-global-water-crisis/