According to UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), about 2.2 billion people on Earth do not have safe, clean water at home. Of those, about 785 million people cannot collect safe water in 30 minutes or less, and 144 million people are drinking untreated surface water. In developing countries, such as Kenya, Nicaragua, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, many families are forced to drink from the only sources available to them — polluted rivers, streams, ponds or shallow, unprotected wells contaminated by life-threatening bacteria, chemical runoff, parasites, insect larvae, animal feces and even human waste.
WHO estimates that around 829,000 people — almost 36% of them children under 5 — are dying each year from diarrhea caused by unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation and hand hygiene. But why do some countries suffer so acutely from the unavailability of clean water while others (such as the United States) can easily access abundant crystal-clear H20 at the turn of a tap?
Let’s explore that question — and what we can do to provide a solution.
To ensure that a safe water system will last for years to come, it is necessary for a development team to follow several important steps. First, a geological survey is arranged to discover the best drilling sites. This provides the drilling team with the highest probability of striking water, removing guesswork and preventing them from wasting time and money by taking a hit-and-miss approach to the job.
Next, the team needs to drill into the deep aquifer and properly install a pipe to keep out contaminants and prevent the borehole from collapsing. The development team must also confirm the quality of the water the drillers have tapped. To accomplish that, water is sent to a lab for testing. This ensures that what is drawn from the well is completely safe for human consumption.
At this point, other system components can be installed, such as a manual or electrical pump, taps, and — in cases where a powered pump is used but no source of electricity is present — solar panels. Many systems also include water storage tanks that allow people to easily access stored water.
Poor, remote communities in developing nations are not able to afford this process — but it is the only way to ensure a water source is properly drilled and used. That’s where Cross Catholic Outreach (and compassionate friends like you) can help! Your contribution ensures a new well is properly installed so future generations can count on it producing safe water.
Our Catholic ministry partners in developing nations have the knowledge and local connections needed to provide enduring sources of safe, clean water for communities in desperate need. What they lack are the funds to finance those outreaches. You can make the wells and water systems they have planned a reality.
Please consider funding a water project for a community in need. Struggling families have been praying for relief — a safe source of water to quench their thirst and protect them from waterborne diseases — and you can help Church leaders provide the blessing those poor men, women and children desperately need!
Faithful dioceses and ministries are fighting to relieve the world’s water crisis, and they are asking you for two things:
One great way to support water relief programs is through our Christmas Catalog. For example, your generosity can help Father Fabian Hevi in Kenya install water systems that will relieve the burden on families impacted by the severe drought. Through the years, Cross Catholic Outreach has empowered him to provide clean water for more than 470,000 Kenyans. Help us extend that blessing to even more communities this year!
To support this important mission of mercy, please donate below. Supplying poor families with safe water is a powerful way to extend Christ’s peace, hope and joy during this blessed season. Join us to guarantee that Kenya’s neediest families will have access to safe, clean water in the new year!