Around the world today, 663 million people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.4 billion people lack even basic sanitation. Each day, thousands of children die from diarrhea and other easily prevented diseases because they do not have these basic services. Lack of access to WASH undermines sustainable progress of virtually every other developmental need, including education, economic growth, nutrition, environmental conservation, and gender equality.
The good news is that simple, proven, and cost-effective solutions exist. Investing in water, sanitation, and hygiene has an immediate impact on health, education, and economic growth. The World Health Organization estimates that for every $1 spent on water, sanitation and hygiene programs, there is about a $4 return in productivity.
U.S. government leadership has spurred non-profit organizations, for-profit companies, and academic institutions to substantially increase their own efforts to provide safe drinking water and sanitation, resulting in millions getting sustainable access to WASH.
Strategies That Work:
- Rotary Clubs are raising millions of dollars for communities that lack safe drinking water and sanitation.
- Corporations, including Unilever, P&G, and Coca Cola, are directing millions of dollars to WASH projects through their corporate social responsibility programs.
- Churches and other religious groups throughout the United States are raising money to provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation to millions of people worldwide.
- Non-Profits like Water.org and charity: water raise millions of dollars annually to fund projects dedicated to WASH.
- Engineers Without Borders clubs are creating water filtration systems to provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation to communities in need in places like Ghana, Ecuador, and Thailand.
- Students across the country participate in a 10-day challenge to drink nothing but water. The money they save is being used to provide Rwandan communities with safe drinking water.
Call your member of Congress at 202-224-3121 and say you want to support efforts already underway to solve the global water, sanitation, and hygiene crisis. You can also visit their office or write a letter.