World Water Day calls for action from everyone

By March 22, 2013

International (FH/MNN) — Every second, the urban population grows by 2 people. However, 27% of that population in the developing world does not have piped water in its house, according to statistics from the United Nations.

The World Health Organization notes that the lack of safe water and sanitation in cities leads to cholera, malaria, and diarrhea. Illnesses like these often keep kids out of school, and a lack of education furthers the cycle of poverty.

For most impoverished people around the world, accessing clean water requires sacrifice and work.

In the village of Waye Godha near Nairobi, Kenya, the closest water source for community members was a small pond filled with dirty water. It was unsafe for drinking and often resulted in outbreaks of water-related diseases such as diarrhea. If the women in the community weren't willing to sacrifice the risk of disease, their only other option was to walk nine miles to reach an alternative source and spend the day carrying 20 liters of water on their backs in a jerrican. That's 5.3 gallons–each gallon weighing 8 pounds!

A daily trip like this caused many girls, including Yubo, to drop out of school. Fetching the water was also dangerous to their health. Many women suffered miscarriages due to carrying heavy loads over the dangerous terrain.

With help from people who came alongside with funding, Food for the Hungry (FH) collaborated with community members to build a water reservoir tank in Waye Godha. The community contributed locally-available material and labor. FH conducted several trainings in water handling, treatment, and maintenance, and trainings in good health practices.

This project is currently benefiting more than 2,000 community members, including Yubo.
But the work didn't stop there. The women's group Yubo belonged to became empowered to begin spreading hygiene messages within the community so they would be taking full advantage of their improved water system.

As a result, dirty water-related diseases decreased, and women in the community took less time to fetch water. Yubo's family has even been able to use piped water from the new water tank reservoir to irrigate their farm and garden. Her husband, who traveled a long distance to earn an income, now works full-time at home on the farm. All of their four children are in school.

The truth of Christ's love serves as the inspiration for their work. The financial support, prayers, and partnerships allow FH to address broken relationships–with God, each other, self, and creation.

What multiple blessings to be celebrated! With World Water Day on March 22, pray with FH as they continue working toward community transformation.


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