Why Water Matters

Sarah walks 3 miles per day to collect water for her family

A woman and her children collecting water in jerry cans from an open water source, which is brown and dirty

The water source closest to her village is unprotected and dirty.

A woman cutting up bananas and placing them in a bowl of brown, dirty water

The food she prepares will be contaminated.

A mother bathing her child in a large plastic tub outside of her home

Her family will get skin diseases from bathing.

A woman standing outside amid trees, holding her young daughter and smiling

Her children will get life-threatening diarrhea.

A goat tied to a pipe protruding from the ground

Even if a well providing fresh, clean water is built in her community, it will likely be broken within a year and take months to be repaired.

This is the reality for 785 million people around the world.

View Source

WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (2017). Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2000-2017: Special focus on inequalities. [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/


Every day, women and girls collectively spend 200 million hours, or 22,800 years, fetching water.

View Source

UNICEF press release, (2016). [online] Available at: http://www.unicef.org/

A little girl and her mom pushing a bicycle loaded with jerry cans full of water

Each year, children miss 443 million school days due to water-related illnesses.

View Source

UNDP, (2006). Human Development Report; Beyond Scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis. [online] Available at: http://hdr.undp.org/

A young woman in a pink school uniform standing in front of a brick wall in her classroom, smiling

It is estimated that around 1/3 of handpumps in Africa are not functioning at any given time.

View Source

Rural Water Supply Network, (2010).  Myths of the rural water supply sector. Rural Water Supply Network Perspectives No. 4. [online] Available at: http://www.rural-water-supply.net/

Two very small little boys peeking into an unfinished pipe that will eventually become a water point

But it doesn't have to be this way