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The Water Crisis
Without clean water, education cannot thrive, gender inequality grows, economic activity becomes stagnant, and development is stifled.
Water scarcity and contamination is a global crisis that affects billions.
Water scarcity is both a natural and a human-made phenomenon. There is enough freshwater on the planet for seven billion people but it is distributed unevenly and too much of it is wasted, polluted and un-sustainably managed. (UN)
Lack of Reliable Access
Nearly 2.2 billion people globally lack reliable access to safely managed drinking water. (WHO and UNICEF, 2019)
40% in Sub-Saharan Africa
Almost 40% of those without an improved source of drinking water live in Sub-Saharan Africa. (UN 2014)
In East Africa, water scarcity is a burden on women and girls and a barrier toward education and economic equality.
The Responsibility of Water Collection
Women and girls are responsible for water collection in 8 out of 10 households where water is not piped into the home. (WHO and UNICEF, 2017)
3.5 Miles a Day to Collect Water
Women and girls in developing countries walk an average of 3.5 miles every day to fetch water. (USAID, 2013)
Lack of Sanitation
Lack of sanitation facilities (with clean water) for girls reaching puberty makes them more likely to miss school than boys. (WHO and UNICEF, 2019)
Water scarcity and contamination are dangerous to health and the sources of preventable disease and death.
Contaminated water can transmit diseases such diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio. Contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause 485,000 diarrheal deaths each year. (WHO)
The impact on child mortality rates is devastating with more than 297,000 children under five who die annually from diarrhoeal diseases due to poor sanitation, poor hygiene, or unsafe drinking water. (WHO, 2019)
Lack of Hand Washing Facilities at Home
Water scarcity negatively impacts the availability of hand washing facilities. 1 in 3 people, or 2.3 billion, around the world lack basic hand washing facilities at home. (WHO and UNICEF, 2021)
There is a failure in the water aid industry to provide reliable and lasting clean water solutions to the communities that need it.
60% Failure Rate
60% of water projects in Africa fail on average, forcing communities to return to unsafe water sources.
Built and Abandoned
Less than 5% of water projects are visited after they’re constructed, and less than 1% are monitored long-term, (World Bank, 2011).
No Training & Support
Communities where water projects fail are often not provided with the training and support required to maintain and manage their water systems.
Because of the education, maintenance, and support provided before and after water projects are implemented, 100% of Well Aware’s water systems continue to provide lasting clean water to their respective communities.
In the span of three years, the school has seen its population increase and its ground changed from once rocky to green and vegetative. Students now plant tree seedlings and the school prides itself in its new kitchen garden.Read More
The moment you walk into Ol Moran Secondary School, you are guaranteed a warm hearty welcome by the principal, John Kimathi, who has been there since the inception of Well Aware’s water system back in 2017.Read More
When we first met Kelelwa, it was a pastoralist community, moving from place to place and temporarily settling around streams and water. Women and girls traveled up to 12 km (7.5 miles) to fetch contaminated water.Read More
Communities become overwhelmed with joy and gratitude when Well Aware breaks ground on a new water system. In recent visits with partner communities in Kenya, they shared with us their thoughts and feelings.Read More
For years, the Salaita community struggled with a lack of clean water, with all 2,000 individuals relying on a dysfunctional borehole well nearby that barely produced water each day.Read More
More Water Facts
Nearly 97% of the world’s water is undrinkable. Another 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% for all of humanity’s needs — all its agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community, and personal needs. (EPA)
About 4 billion people, representing nearly two-thirds of the global population, experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year. (UNICEF)
785 million people lack even a basic drinking-water service, including 144 million people who are dependent on surface water (such as rivers or dams). (WHO)
By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water stressed conditions. (UN)
Sub-Saharan Africa has the largest number of water-stressed countries of any region. (UN)
Water Use and Demand
Each American uses an average of 82 gallons, or 310 liters, of water a day at home. (USGS)
Water use has been growing globally at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century, and an increasing number of regions are reaching the limit at which water services can be sustainably delivered, especially in arid regions. (UN)
Global water demand is projected to increase by 20 to 30% per year by 2050. (UNESCO)
72% of all water withdrawals are used by agriculture, 16% by municipalities for households and services, and 12% by industries. (UN)
Impact of Water Scarcity & Contamination
The consequences of unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) on children can be deadly. Every day, over 700 children die from preventable diarrhoeal diseases caused by a lack of appropriate WASH services. (UNICEF)
Women and girls spend an estimated 200 million hours hauling water every day. (UNICEF)
In Sub-Saharan Africa, 75% of the population lacks basic hand washing facilities. (UN)
1 in 4 health care facilities around the world lack basic water supplies. (UN)
The total global economic losses associated with inadequate water supply and sanitation were estimated at US$260 billion annually. (WHO)
Investment in water and sanitation services generates a quantifiable, positive return on investment through saved medical costs and increased productivity: Urban basic drinking water: $3 return for every $1 invested. Rural basic drinking water: $7 to $1 (UN)
Other Water Facts
Between 2000 and 2015, 1.6 billion people gained access to clean water for the first time. (UN, 2016)
30-50% of new water projects globally collapse after a few years of use. (UNICEF)