Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
Water Shouldn’t Kill
Water is a basic human need, yet 780 million people around the world lack access to clean water. Frequently, accessible water is contaminated, infecting people with waterborne diseases responsible for 1.5 million deaths a year. Children are the most vulnerable: 90 percent of deaths caused by diarrheal disease are of children under the age of 5.
ADRA has been addressing these issues for 30 years, installing filters that clean contaminated water, digging wells, and installing water pipes where water is available yet inaccessible. ADRA initiatives also educate communities about sanitation and the fatal danger of waterborne diseases.Donate Today
Tin Mar Hwe’s Story
Having lost both her parents to AIDS, Mercy lives in an orphanage outside of Harare, Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, the orphanage lacks access to clean water, making Mercy one of the many children living in Zimbabwe at risk of diseases like cholera. Contaminated water and improper sanitation are the primary reasons for cholera outbreaks, and children are among the most vulnerable to its deadly impact.
ADRA’s well-drilling project provides safe and clean drinking water for children like Mercy.
Members of the community had attempted four times to drill wells for the orphanage, but due to poor infrastructure and lack of proper drilling tools, these attempts had failed. The orphanage was left unable to provide the children with safe drinking water and a sanitary environment.
ADRA decided to give it one more try, bringing new and advanced drilling technology to assist in the orphanage’s efforts. After hours of drilling, the team finally hit water and installed a water pump for the orphanage. The precious gift of water was not lost on Mercy, the children, and the community leaders, who celebrated and rejoiced at the sight of water flowing.
ADRA has installed 21 wells in severely affected rural areas of Zimbabwe. Donations from all around the world provide ADRA with the resources needed to give communities access to clean water, such as drilling trucks and pumps. Now children like Mercy don’t have to travel miles for water, can avoid deadly waterborne diseases, and have a chance at a brighter future.
Monem, a 7-year-old living in Al Masraka, Yemen, makes the mile-long trek through a conflict-ridden area to draw water for his family. The youngest of five children, Monem is starting to show signs of trachoma, a painful and debilitating bacterial disease that has caused his older siblings to go blind. Contaminated water and the absence of latrines contribute to the contraction and spread of diseases like trachoma.
ADRA’s well-drilling project provides safe and clean water for children like Monem.
Monem’s family frequently depends on neighbors’ generosity to get by, but Monem worries about who will bring his family water when he goes blind. Given the unsafe area and travel distance, Monem knows that it will not be easy for his mother to get water for the family.
ADRA’s water system specialists spearheaded construction on a new well in Al Masraka. Just a few minutes away from Monem’s house, the well has a pump and a cistern for storing water. The new well now saves Monem from hours of backbreaking work. The clean water prevents the spread of diseases like trachoma—and while it might be too late for Monem and his siblings, hopefully the well will save other children from unnecessary suffering.
ADRA has installed numerous pumps in rural areas of Yemen. Donations from around the world provide resources for ADRA to drill wells and provide clean water to the areas in need. When children like Monem get sick less frequently and require less time to transport water, they have time to get an education and think about a better future.
Veronica lives with her husband and three children in Dilor, a small village in Timor-Leste. Every day, she makes at least two exhausting trips to the river and back to provide water for her family. The river water is dirty and often causes diarrhea and other illnesses, especially for her children. “I was exhausted and felt terrible that I didn’t have money to buy medicine for my children,” Veronica shared with ADRA.
ADRA has been drilling wells in Timor-Leste, providing accessible and safe water for families.
The water Veronica carries every day, despite being contaminated, is precious to the family, and every drop matters. Veronica explains that as a result of its scarcity, her family would never wash their hands before eating or after going to the toilet. This lack of sanitary behavior also plays an undeniable role in the spread of diseases.
After drilling the well, ADRA installed a water station with hand pumps in Dilor, near Veronica’s home. It now takes her minutes to fetch water for her family. ADRA also provided hygiene and sanitation training to the villagers and at the school.
Now with clean water available, the cases of diarrhea have lowered dramatically, and children are no longer missing school due to illness. With the community’s acquired knowledge on sanitation, the health behaviors have changed, directly affecting the health and well-being of families.
The water station has been life-changing for Veronica and her family. She says, “Our family is very thankful for ADRA’s work, and we already enjoy its benefits. Our quality of life has improved, and the water tastes good. I hope we continue to be healthy and not get sick anymore.”
ADRA has drilled approximately 15 wells around Timor-Leste and installed numerous hand pump water stations so that villagers have abundant water in close proximity. Your donations help ADRA continue its clean water and sanitation projects in Timor-Leste, allowing communities to live healthier and happier lives.
Tin Mar Hwe’s Story
Tin Mar Hwe’s Story
Every day, Tin Mar Hwe, the headmistress of a school in Than Bo, Myanmar, worries about having enough clean water for her students. She depends on parent volunteers to make eight trips a day to nearby ponds to collect enough water to last the children through the day. Access to clean water is critical for survival, education, and upward mobility. But in some areas, it comes at a high cost.
ADRA’s water specialists provide safe and clean drinking water for schools in places like Than Bo, Myanmar.
Each trip to the pond takes 30 minutes, so parent volunteers miss a half day’s work in the fields whenever they help at the school. Tin Mar Hwe worries most during the harvest season because parents cannot afford to take time off and the children must wait until lunch to get water. Even when there is enough water, it is not filtered well enough to keep the students from getting sick and missing school.
ADRA’s water specialists built a rainwater collection system with storage tanks and taps at Tin Mar Hwe’s school. Now her students can have water whenever they like, and their parents are free to do the work they need to make a living. With access to clean water, Tin Mar Hwe is confident that her students will be able to have a consistent education, a healthier life, and a more promising future.
The rainwater collection system is just one of ADRA’s water sanitation projects in Myanmar. Thanks to donations from around the world, ADRA has had the resources to install three borehole wells as well as a solar-powered pump and water tank in other Myanmar villages.