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Clean Water

For billions of people around the world, accessing clean water is not as easy as turning on your faucet. 

– 2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services.  
– An estimated 361,000 children younger than 5 years die from waterborne illnesses like diarrhea. 
– 670 million lack basic hygiene services with no handwashing facilities at all.

The good news is our charity partners listed below are working to ensure access to clean water is a reality for everyone around the world. Their programs include drilling wells; installing pumps, pipes and toilets; educating communities about proper hygiene and sanitation; and more.  

Explore the resources below to see the impact of their work.

Feeling inspired? Be a global champion and help increase access to clean water by supporting Global Impact charities through your employee giving campaign. 

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Boy smiling with water spout
Benjamin Franklin famously said, “When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” Those that live in the United States often do not think twice about the source of their water or whether it is safe to bathe in or drink. It is a luxury that billions of people worldwide do not know, an uncertainty that communities live with every day. Throughout the movement for clean water access is an acronym called WASH, which stands for “water, sanitation and hygiene services.” This concept is used widely by our charity partners and other government entities that focus on worldwide clean…
A woman carrying a pot of water on her head. WaterAid logo.
Just last month, I wrote a blog post about water – namely, the role our oceans play in our future. Now, as we approach World Water Day 2021, I return to discuss water with this question: What does water mean to you? The theme of this year’s World Water Day is “valuing water.” In the lead-up to March 22, U.N Water is asking everyone, everywhere, about what this resource means to them, individually. This could mean from a health standpoint, or a cultural, familial, religious, educational, or economic one. Some of us are lucky – we have access to clean…
The Salvation Army World Service workers handle a shipment of medical goods in South Korea.
The COVID-19 pandemic dominates headlines as it continues to spread rapidly to corners of the world. It has stripped vulnerable communities of vital resources, such as medical personnel and hygiene supplies, further weakening their defense system against its contagion. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to support those at risk all around the world. We must join together to foster a healthier future for all. The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO) recognizes the international impact of COVID-19 and introduces a globally minded strategy. Their COVID-19 relief work spans across 131 countries, offering comprehensive support to the communities who need it…
Water For People logo over photo of a boy looking up while he washes his hands
Our hands are made for playing, dancing, writing, building … not spreading germs! As the COVID-19 pandemic brings the world to a screeching halt, attentive handwashing must take center stage in our daily lives. It’s crucial that we prioritize safe hygiene practices to keep our loved ones safe and flatten the curve. For some, this is easier said than done. Access to essential hygiene supplies is a profound luxury that we often take for granted. In many communities around the world, especially in rural areas, fundamental hygiene resources are scarce. These populations are highly vulnerable to waterborne diseases and harmful…
A boy sitting in a classroom in Haiti
If you’re like me, you aren’t even close to accomplishing your new year’s resolutions yet. True, we are only one month in to 2020, so there’s still plenty of time. But, if you resolved to increase your physical fitness and make the world a better place, then boy – do I have a great idea for you! Hope for Haiti, an organization dedicating itself to improving the quality of life for Haitian people, especially children, is hosting the “Hike for Haiti Challenge” April 17-19, 2020 (if you can’t participate at that time, you can join the fun any other time…
Women at community handpump
When I was in high school, I went on a few international volunteer trips. For one of the trips, our team joined with youth from around the U.S. to help build a school in Mexico. Another trip was to Romania, where we volunteered at orphanages and contributed to a few construction projects. These experiences were really valuable and eye opening to me – and I assumed our contributions were equally valuable to the countries and programs I came to serve. But were they? In college a few years later, I took a class on overseas missions, which rocked my presumptuous…


  • Title: Reverse Osmosis Provides Clean Water in Gaza
  • Charity: Anera
  • Country: Palestine, State of
  • Photo Credit: Ibrahim Zaanoun

Anera installed an RO unit at Baytouna Community Center to meet the needs of 30,000 residents living in the northern parts of Gaza. According to WHO, 97% of Gaza tap water is too salinated and contaminated for human consumption. This Community center provides clean and safe water to help increase access to water and hopefully reduce the severity of the problem in Gaza. Anera has been installing reverse osmosis (RO) systems at public facilities to increase the population’s access to safe, clean, and sustainable water sources.

  • Title: Fresh Water
  • Charity: Alight (formerly American Refugee Committee)
  • Country: Uganda
  • Photo Credit: Jon Atwell/ Alight

Gardeners test out their new hose for watering their crops.

  • Title: An Amref Community Health Worker onsite in Kenya
  • Charity: Amref Health Africa
  • Country: Kenya
  • Photo Credit: Brian Otieno

Pictures were taken in Kibera for the Vaccine Solidarity fundraising campaign. Pictures show the work of Amref in the community.

  • Title: A WASH Station in Kiberia
  • Charity: Amref Health Africa
  • Country: Kenya
  • Photo Credit: Steve Kagia

An Amref Community Health Worker in front of a hand-washing station in Kibera Slum, Kenya

  • Title: Smiling Faces at the Water Station
  • Charity: Amref Health Africa
  • Country: Kenya
  • Photo Credit: Steve Kagia

Girl using a water station in Homabay, Kenya.

  • Title: Anastasia
  • Charity: CMMB
  • Country: Kenya
  • Photo Credit: CMMB

Anastasia and her family members had to walk two hours to fetch water. That was before CMMB installed a rainwater harvesting system with a 10,500-gallon storage capacity at Anastasia’s school That’s enough to last the children in the school an entire school calendar year. The head teacher at Anastasia’s school says that the school dropout rate for adolescent girls was quite high due to some of the severe challenges around access to water, as well as hygiene and sanitation challenges. Now, having the CMMB rainwater harvesting system in place, the lives and health of Anastasia’s community and classmates have changed dramatically for the better.

  • Title: Drought Relief – Water Well in Samburu
  • Charity: ChildFund International
  • Country: Kenya
  • Photo Credit: Jake Lyell

ChildFund installed this water well in Samburu County, Kenya, in August of 2021 as part of its emergency drought response. It serves 310 households with clean drinking water, as well as water for small gardens and livestock. Previously, when children and families could access water, they were drawing it from a dirty river that was a thirty minute walk away and a cause of sickness in the community. Even that option dried up during the 2021 drought when the annual rains failed to come. ChildFund responded just in time to bring fresh, life-giving water to this community. Quotes from child in the community, Risalo (female, age 12, not pictured): “We were getting water from the river,” says Risalo. “During the rainy season the water was dirty. Some people would get sick from waterborne diseases, such as cholera. It’s not clean. To get to the river is very difficult. We used to drink it because there was nothing otherwise. One day I drank that water and it was so muddy. When I came back home I started suffering from stomach pain and I had diarrhea. During the dry season you have dig. You have to dig the ground to drink water.” “The water is now helping the community and we say thank you to ChildFund and Nawiri Child Development Programme (ChildFund’s local partner in Samburu). The water is near to us. It comes very fast and the water volume is high. It takes just one second [to fill up]. Every day I think I fetch four jerrycans. That is enough for us. My new water from ChildFund…

  • Title: Solving a Community’s Water Crisis
  • Charity: Compassion International
  • Country: Ghana
  • Photo Credit: Rachael Cudjoe-Yevu

  • Title: Solving a Community’s Water Crisis
  • Charity: Compassion International
  • Country: Ghana
  • Photo Credit: Rachael Cudjoe-Yevu


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Success Stories

Julia is pumping treated water that is safe for drinking to bring to her family, Bangladesh.
The pond near the rural village where Julia, her husband and their two children live in Bangladesh is their primary source of water. But it was contaminated by the poisonous carcinogen arsenic and so high in salinity, the entire family was at risk of hypertension and high blood pressure.
A woman in Rwanda stands next to community tap stand
Didacienne had five children and no home of her own. Her husband died nearly 25 years ago in the Rwandan genocide, and after that she had few options to provide for her family – they lived with various family members to get by. And without water in their village, life was difficult.
Globally, 1.8 billion people are at risk of infectious diseases because they use or work in a health facility that doesn’t have water. Such infections can lead to prolonged hospital stays, long-term disability and spiraling healthcare costs. High infection rates and poor water, sanitation and hygiene can damage trust in health systems and make patients less likely to seek care when they are sick. In the district of Geita, northwestern Tanzania, some healthcare facilities that don’t have water ask pregnant women to bring it with them when they give birth. If the nearest water source to the hospital is unsafe, or patients are unable to bring water with them, they must buy it from commercial vendors at inflated prices. Kalunde Rashid gave birth to her second child at Chikobe Health Center in Tanzania. “Mum is here taking care of me. She is old and could not go to collect water…
Everyone at this primary school in West Bengal, India knows that a successful student is a healthy student. Twice a year, the school of nearly 500 students holds a soap drive. Parents and children gather for a festive celebration, and the families bring donated soap and hygiene supplies for the school to use. Soaps, buckets, scrub brushes, and sanitizers are assembled while children share messages of good health and proper hygiene through songs, plays, and decorated signs. Hygiene education, including proper handwashing techniques, is an integral part of this school’s curriculum. Water For People works with schools to train the teachers and develop plans and messages for instilling healthy hygiene habits in the young students. If schools lack the budget for necessary supplies, setting up the soap drives ensures a bank of hygiene materials for student and teacher use. From daily songs to paintings on the walls, the students are…
Thanks to your support immediately following the Syria earthquake, UNRWA provided thousands of affected refugees with: – Clean water, blankets, and hygiene kits – Mobile clinics for the injured in Neirab Camp – Shelter in UNRWA’s Al-Khairiyeh School – Hundreds of food assistance packets – Trauma counselling for refugee children But our work is far from done.
Veronica Wambui, a water vendor in Korogocho, Kenya, was faced with a stark reality when the pandemic hit. Members of her community—an informal settlement with little infrastructure—could no longer pay for water, which put her livelihood at risk. But Wambui soon learned that Oxfam partner Koch Hope was providing water to her settlement as part of its COVID-19 response, and that Koch Hope needed vendors. Wambui signed on as a contractor, which not only kept her business afloat, but also allowed her to provide an essential service to her community. Oxfam and Koch Hope began this work in April 2021 as part of a project called Tuko Pamoja (We Are in This Together). Tuko Pamoja is part of a larger effort supported by #StartSmall, a philanthropic initiative launched by Jack Dorsey, Block Head, Chairman, and cofounder of Block Inc. In the last year, funding from #StartSmall supported projects to address…