August is Water Quality Awareness Month, or Water Awareness Month, which highlights the importance of improving the safety and quality of water for communities all over the world. All life depends on water to survive — it’s a basic human need — so why do 1.1 billion people still lack access to safe drinking water? Moreover, 2.7 billion people experience water scarcity at least one month a year. If that wasn’t scary enough, it’s projected that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may be facing water shortages.
The world is running out of freshwater.
Nearly 97% of the world’s water is salty or undrinkable. A measly 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers, which leaves just 1% for all of humanity’s needs. Water is needed to power agriculture, residents, manufacturing, community, and allow for proper hygiene, personal care — you name it. So it’s a wonder why we take the fresh running water for granted.
Some of us have the privilege of turning on a faucet to wash our hands, to prepare our meals, or to simply drink from. Meanwhile, there are communities of families such as those in Africa, where women and children collectively walk a daily distance enough to travel 16 trips to the moon and back just to fetch water (“How Much Water is There on Earth?.” U.S. Geological Survey).
This is a huge reason why we partner with Well Aware. As members of the 1% for the Planet network, we donate 1% of proceeds to Well Aware to help fund projects driven to sustainably bring clean water to communities lacking access to it.
The Well Aware Difference
Well Aware builds water systems in East Africa that give communities a reliable water source for everything they need. A source of clean water is life-changing with a significant decrease in waterborne illnesses (and death), increased education and attendance rates, and the ability to maintain proper hygiene and sanitation, especially important in today’s world. Well Aware’s Community-Driven Approach is unique and allows a community to thrive and become independent. Their focus is not only to drill wells for sustained freshwater for the community but to also give each community the tools they need to manage, maintain, and sustain the new water systems. This is what makes Well Aware’s clean water solutions 100% successful.
The team works closely with the community they intend to build water systems for before the projects even start. This ensures security, builds trust, and nurtures relationships, because when the community is involved, and there is full transparency on the project, there is a drastic reduction in friction that can cause projects like this to fail. This, as Well Aware’s Community Manager, Karen, states is crucial for the success of the project and long-term viability. In fact, 60% of water projects in Africa fail, largely due to a lack of community involvement and ownership of the system.
After the work is complete, Well Aware conducts training and helps elect a committee of locals to help manage the water systems through their WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) program. Their team continues with follow-up training later on to help further educate the community to ensure prolonged success.
Although Well Aware has built 80+ water projects over the years, they continue to offer support to the benefiting communities — a true testament of how passionately they care about these communities.
It really “takes a village”
This Community-Driven Approach is not limited to the partner communities in East Africa — after all, “it takes a village”. This Water Awareness Month, we hope that you will consider joining Well Aware’s monthly donor community called The Village, so you can continuously support their mission of helping communities gain clean water for decades to come.
Want to learn more about Well Aware’s mission and 100% success model? RSVP to Well Aware’s Virtual Panel on August 26th, 2021 in observance of Water Awareness Month. You’ll hear from the experts and dive into some behind-the-scenes knowledge of their clean water projects in East Africa.
If you aren’t able to become a member of The Village, any donation is welcome! You can also further help Well Aware’s mission by following @WellAwareWorld and raising awareness of the amazing clean water projects they are doing. Let’s help close the gap on water scarcity together.