Happy World Water Day!
Did you know that over the past 40 years, WaterAid has reached nearly 29 million people with clean water? We couldn’t have done it without your support!
This World Water Day (March 22), we want to introduce you to five people whose lives you’ve helped change through your generosity, advocacy, and tireless support of clean water.
The lack of climate-resilient infrastructure meant that the remote village of Kaliganj would often lose access to clean water due to flash floods, tidal surges, and intense winds during tropical cyclones. A new underground rainwater reservoir and three new sanitation facilities means that local children can focus less on where to go and more on their classes.
"We had no hygienic toilets before, and no facilities were available for drinking safe water or washing our hands. My classmates and I always avoided the only toilet we had, which was unhygienic. WaterAid built two separate spaces for boys and girls, which is a great help. Now that we have safe drinking water and a sanitary toilet, we can continue our education without interruption or sickness.
“For many years, I have struggled to get water and with my children all grown-up in the city trying to make a living, the challenge is more as I travel miles to get water or call on children in the neighborhood (if available) to help get water so I can carry out my daily chores. I am happy that today the story is different. We have a community where the aged like me don’t have to travel miles just to get water. I can now water my gardens where I grow kayan miya (vegetables) even during the dry season.”
A new solar water system, which supplies groundwater through the connection of a pump to a well, provided the Worikambo Health Centre with clean water piped directly into rooms without costly electricity bills. The installation of disability friendly toilets, sinks, and bathrooms also helped improve patient care and continues to prevent infections.
“We always tell people to wash their hands as a major preventative factor, but patients come and see us working with no water and see us unable to wash hands, so we couldn’t convince them to do what we say. Not having water led to infections. Poor sterilization led to more infections. Having clean water in the facility has helped improve my job, I am able to practice at the standards we are supposed to be, and it has given me confidence in what I do. The patients are very happy, they are pleased with the facilities and they can protect themselves from disease when they come here.”
The renovation of the water supply system led to the construction of new drinking water stations and toilet facilities for four schools in the Lahan municipality of Nepal. Students can concentrate on their education, and the dropout rate has reduced – in fact, enrollment has increased thanks to access to the new facilities!
“Having clean drinking water and decent toilets means students like me can concentrate on our studies in a healthy environment. We don’t need to worry while attending classes. Moreover, students like me will no longer get sick due to unsafe water and dirty toilets. When we are healthy and happy, we will definitely improve in our studies. Once we improve our studies, our future is secured.”
In the mountain villages of Timor-Leste, it can take up to three hours a day to collect and return with clean water. In Leotela, the construction of new water taps throughout the village now means that residents don’t have to travel far to a water source and can build a better life for themselves and the next generations.
“In previous years to collect water we needed to go down to the source and then carry the water back up to home, but this year it is good because the water is close to our house so I can plant many trees and also the small garden out the back. I use the water to water all those things. I feel like my grandchildren’s life will be better than ours because they can just focus on their study or collecting the firewood or other vegetables, but not losing time collecting water.”
Millions more stories like these five exist because of you, so let's celebrate these wins today! And tomorrow, the work continues in the mission to reach everyone, everywhere with clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
These stories right here? That's the power of clean water.
Thank you for all that you do!