For Living Water it's all about Jesus. It's about demonstrating God's love, announcing his kingdom, seeing Jesus in the least of our brothers and sisters, offering a cup of water in Jesus' name and proclaiming his gospel, the living water.
Helping communities create sustainable water, sanitation, hygiene, and Christian witness programs in partnership with local churches is just the best way we've found to do that. Why? Because the water crisis affects poverty, women, health and education—and for us it's a spiritual issue.
783 million people lack access to an improved source of drinking water—that's 1 in 9 of us. In the places we work, it's more like 1 in 2 . Great progress is being made globally, but whole people groups are being overlooked—it's the poorest people with the least political power that continue to suffer, and these are the people we are called to serve.
Water & Poverty. Where water is inaccessible, poverty is pervasive. Productivity is lost to illness and time is spent walking for water. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 40 billion hours are spent each year just hauling water. Most who lack water live on less than a dollar a day, and there's no way out without water.
Water & Women. Many women spend 20 hours per week collecting water, some walking 7 miles a day, often for contaminated water. Too often the walk is not safe for them physically. It is women and the children they raise who suffer most without water, and who benefit most from access to it.
Water & Health Water-related diseases cause 2.2 million deaths a year; every day, diarrhea takes the lives of 2,000 children in Africa—more than any other single cause of death. Safe water, a toilet, and clean hands could prevent 90% of these deaths.
Water & Education Globally, water-related diseases steal 443 million school days a year. Roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm stunt growth, cause debilitating anemia, and follow kids into the classroom, shrinking cognitive potential. Illness causes absenteeism and early drop-out. Simple solutions can keep kids in school.
Water & the Gospel. There's hope. In the past 20 years 2 billion people have gained access to safe drinking water—but that's not the best story we have to tell. For us water is a picture of living water—the good news that God wants to transform people, communities, and the whole world through the person of Jesus Christ.
1 Access to improved water sources in rural areas averages 47% across Living Water countries of operation in Africa and the Americas, according to figures from the WHO/Unicef JMP's 2012 Report on Drinking Water and Sanitation.
2 In 2010, studies began to show that diarrheal diseases had surpassed pneumonia as the top cause of death among children under 5 in Sub-Saharan Africa: Black R et al. (2010) "Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality in 2008: a systematic analysis", Lancet 2010; 375: 1969–87.