Approximately 2.1 billion people around our world are without access to clean water...

child washing dishes in dirty water

2.1 billion people around the world are without access to clean water, affecting every aspect of their daily lives. Without a reliable and safe water-source, communities face health risks, poverty due to lack of time for education and work, and the threat of running out of usable water resources.

Lavit has partnered with One Drop to help bring clean and safe water to communities in need. Part of the proceeds of each EcoCap is donated to the organization, going directly towards funding clean water projects. 100% of all donations that One Drop receives are used to bring water access to communities around the world. In 2018, relying heavily on donations, One Drop was able to provide water access and sanitation facilities to 700,000 people in 13 different countries. They’re aiming for higher; this is just a step in their goal to change the lives of 1.4 million people.

One Drop brings water to communities in need by installing simple wells to pump out clean groundwater from below the surface of the earth. This water generally hasn’t come in contact with large amounts of pollution, and as a result, it stays cleaner. Communities without running water bathe in rivers and streams, which can contaminate the water with bacteria or diseases. Rivers may also become contaminated with trash and other pollution. This same water often goes on to be used as drinking water, as it may be the only easily accessible water source in the area. Just below the surface, many places are rich with clean groundwater. Tapping into it can provide a reliable, trustworthy water source. It only costs $125 to install a well that will provide water to families for life, without the health risks or physical effort required to collect it.

Drinking contaminated water is unsafe, and carries high risk of exposure to potentially fatal waterborne illnesses and infections such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery. Every 90 seconds, a child dies due to complications from drinking unclean water. Those who recover may be home sick from school for extended periods of time. Children around the world miss a total of 443 million days of school each year while they’re recovering from waterborne illness.

The daily lives of women and young girls living in communities without easy access to water are heavily affected. Oftentimes, it is the women and children in communities who are primarily responsible for finding and collecting water. When clean water is scarce, they may need to travel long distances and spend many hours in their search. On average, women and children walk about 3.7 miles per day to collect water. Carrying water for miles is physically demanding, and can be painful when it’s a daily task. Many women experience spinal issues after consistently carrying heavy containers of water, due to the strain the weight puts on the shoulders, neck and back. It’s also a daily task. Collecting water is a full-time job that doesn’t leave time for much else. With easier access to water, these women and girls would be empowered with the opportunity to work and make money or to seek education. It could be life-changing in many ways.

One Drop doesn’t stop with water access. The organization also aims to create healthier habits surrounding water and hygiene, with the goal of increased sustainability of water sources. They foster healthy habits such as hand-washing with soap, keeping waste away from water, safe water storage, and water treatment. They do this through a unique approach of social art as a means for education. Inspired by local cultures, One Drop has brought many creative art projects to communities over the years. These art projects are based around bringing awareness to water-related environmental issues by connecting with individuals in an emotional and creative way. Communities get involved to bring these projects to life, working together to create something that will remind and educate local people about the importance of water sustainability. They include water-related mosaics, training workshops, dance, and other performative art forms. One Drop seeks to bring lasting change to these communities by fostering an interest in sustainability and inspiring change.

Access to water can help to lift families and individuals out of poverty. In many places across the world, only the wealthiest people have had access to running water. Lack of access to clean water sources and poverty are inherently linked. Nearly two-thirds of individuals without easy access to water survive on less than $2 per day. When water has to be collected from sources that are largely far from communities, not only does it take time away from education or work, it also means that only small amounts of water can be used each day. Any water uses that aren’t absolute necessity don’t always make the cut.

One Drop seeks to make a difference in communities with capital investments. A successful business can make a significant impact in the lives of individuals and families. One Drop also aims to empower women in communities with newly-found water access, whose time has been almost entirely spent gathering water in the past. Frequently, economic growth requires water access. A family in El Rodeo, El Salvador were looking to start a bee-keeping business, but lacked the funds and the water source to do so. With the help of donations and partnerships, One Drop was able to secure a reliable, clean water source and to loan the Ramos family the start up money they needed to get their business going. The business was a success – the Ramos family has been able to pay back almost all of their loans, and as their business continues to thrive, they will soon be debt-free. Their success has allowed them to start to grow the business and make a difference in the local economy.

Lavit is proud to be a part of social and environmental change in communities all over the world. When you use an EcoCap, you’re contributing to projects that are changing lives and providing better health for many people. Check out everything that One Drop is doing to make a difference at http://onedrop.org.

References:

  • Water Fact Sheet. One Drop. https://www.onedrop.org/workspace/uploads/files/l4_two-pagers_about_us_12feb_lr-1-.pdf

  • One Drop’s Unique SABC Approach. One Drop. https://www.onedrop.org/workspace/uploads/files/sabc_email_an.pdf

  • Stories of Change. One Drop. https://www.onedrop.org/en/stories

  • Domestic water carrying and its implications for health. BioMedCentral. https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-069X-9-52 Water and Development. (2010, June 6).

  • Global Issues. http://www.globalissues.org/article/601/water-and-development

  • Waters, Wells, Pumps and Irrigation in the Developing World. Facts and Details. http://factsanddetails.com/world/cat57/sub382/item2137.html