Responding to Water Challenges

Learn how the lack of safe water affects people in poverty and what Compassion does to help.
  • billion people do not have adequate sanitation facilities.

  • of the world’s hospitalizations are due to water-related illnesses such as cholera.

  • billion people use a drinking-water source contaminated with feces.

  • million people do not have access to clean water.

The Issue

Compassion's Response

School attendance suffers in areas lacking safe water because children stay home sick more often. Common water-related illnesses in developing countries include cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.

At their church-run child development centers, sponsored children get access to safe drinking water. Their tutors teach them how to avoid contaminated water. This keeps children healthier so they can get an education that will help them break the poverty cycle.

Hundreds of millions of people have no access to soap and water to wash their hands, preventing a basic practice that would empower them to block the spread of disease.

Children learn at their Compassion centers to wash their hands with soap and water after they use the bathroom and before they eat. They also learn to brush their teeth with safe water.

Women and girls in developing countries spend hours each day walking long distances to collect water, wasting time that could be spent at work or in school. Access to safe water improves local economies because workers miss fewer days due to preventable illnesses.

Donations to Compassion fund special interventions to build wells and other safe-water sources in communities. Compassion also provides home filtration systems to many families in need. Caregivers of babies registered in Compassion’s Child Survival Program learn about the dangers of contaminated water. This education improves the health of entire families.

Bathing and playing in contaminated water puts children at risk of diarrheal diseases and also serious skin infections. In addition, mosquitoes that carry malaria, dengue fever and other fatal diseases breed rampantly in dirty standing water.

Sponsored children learn to avoid playing in dirty water. Compassion also provides insecticide-treated bed nets to protect children from mosquito-borne illnesses. Children in the program receive medical care when they do get sick.

The lack of improved water systems puts communities at greater risk of hunger because agricultural activities rely on adequate, reliable sources of water. Improved water systems lead to healthy livestock and vegetable production, which can combat the incidence of malnutrition among people living in poverty.

Improved nutrition and food security reduces deaths of children and mothers. Many Compassion child development centers teach sponsored children how to grow food gardens and raise animals — skills that the children pass along to their parents. Moms and babies in the Child Survival Program receive supplements to combat malnutrition, which is common among those living in poverty.

Common water sources in the countries we serve:

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Responding to Water Challenges

Learn how the lack of safe water affects people in poverty and what Compassion does to help.

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