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Safe Drinking Water Saves Lives Worldwide

  • March 20, 2013

“Providing sustainable access to improved drinking water sources is one of the most important things we can do to reduce disease.”
—WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret ChanClean water saves lives. Yet eleven percent of the world’s population – 783 million people – lack daily access to even a single drink of safe water. People facing the greatest risk live in impoverished countries with few resources to find safe drinking water. “Providing sustainable access to improved drinking water sources is one of the most important things we can do to reduce disease,” said WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan. On World Water Day and every day, AmeriCares helps to provide safe water to people at risk here at home and worldwide. Drinking water for Sandy survivorsA truck full of donated bottled water during Hurricane Sandy recovery effortsIn the dark days after Hurricane Sandy dealt a devastating blow to families in the Northeast, we worked with Nestlé Waters North America and other partners to supply more than 425,000 bottles of water — enough drinking water to help more than 75,000 people — in hard-hit areas of New York and New Jersey. The storm caused widespread, unprecedented damage to homes and infrastructure, making drinking water dangerously scarce in communities struggling with power outages and sewage contamination. The water deliveries were part of our large-scale Hurricane Sandy emergency response and recovery effort, which continues to this day.Water purification for refugees in the SahelIn Mali, Niger, and Cameroon, AmeriCares is helping approximately 170,000 people have clean drinking water with deliveries of P&G water purification packets (formerly known as PUR packets) along with shipments of medical aid to partners serving families affected by the Sahel Crisis. Ongoing drought and conflict in the Sahel region of West Africa caused a severe food crisis affecting millions of people. In Mali, the crisis worsened with escalating civil conflict and outbreaks of cholera. Across the region, more than 425,000 people were forced to flee their homes, many into refugee camps, where disease and malnutrition run rampant. Over 4.7 million water purification packets are being distributed by our partners saving tens of thousands of displaced families in the region from resorting to untreated local water sources. “Malnourished children and adults are very susceptible to infectious disease and face an even greater risk of contracting deadly diarrheal diseases from unclean water,” explained AmeriCares Medical Director Dr. Frank Bia. “These supplies and medicines will potentially save thousands of lives.”New water pump for community in HaitiA young girl carries water through the dirt streets of the Cite Soleil shanty town in Port au Prince, Haiti. Photo by David Snyder, All Rights Reserved.Access to clean drinking water can make a crucial difference for families in Haiti, where overcrowding and poor sanitation promote the spread of cholera, acute watery diarrhea and other life-threatening diseases. In 2012, AmeriCares funded the purchase and installation of a new water pump in a community center in northwest Haiti serving 900 people each day. The funding enabled Daughters of Wisdom to replace the broken water pump at the busy community center. The new pump brings clean, safe water to this vital hub of community life, located alongside a school and clinic in Cap Haitian. “The restoration of this pump will allow for a great reduction of diarrhea cases in the community and surrounding areas,” explained Dr. Sister Immaculee Beldorin, a head nurse for Daughter of WisdomDonate Now