How often do you think about safe water? When you wash your hands, do you worry about skin rashes? When you brush your teeth do you think about bacteria? And when you take a drink of water from a glass, do you fear that you have put your very life in danger?
It’s hard to imagine water being dangerous. But for thousands of children in the community of Gomoa Kweikrom, drinking contaminated water from open wells caused illness, disease and often death. And that’s when there was water. During droughts, the wells and nearby ponds would dry up, taking away even unclean water.
For the nine Compassion child development centers in the region, lack of clean water had become a very deadly problem for the more than 2,000 children they served. When the children came to the center once a week for program activities, they were able to drink clean water that Compassion staff purchased. But for the rest of the week, it was unclean water that left their bodies weakened by diarrhea, cholera and chronic skin disease. Even at school the children only had access to salty bole-hole water.
It is for communities just like this one that Compassion Water of Life exists. These simple water filters can easily be used by families in developing countries to remove impurities from unclean drinking water. The filters can literally supply a life-time supply of clean water for an entire family, saving lives and eliminating water-borne illnesses.
The child development centers in Gomoa Kweikrom applied for a grant from Compassion to provide filters to 2,320 families. In addition to the filters, the centers sought to educate families on hygiene—through a series of classes and workshops they taught families personal hygiene, cholera prevention, water pollution and proper use of their new filters.
Just two months after families began using the Compassion Water of Life filters, centers were already reporting amazing results. Water-borne diseases, including diarrhea and scabies, were nearly eradicated. Families no longer had to buy clean water and could afford food for their families. At one center, 85% of children were now able to bring fresh water to school instead of drinking the polluted water offered there.
Today, 2,320 families in Ghana benefit from renewed health because of Compassion Water of Life. Children who have never known clean water, water without risk of illness, can finally have fresh, pure, life-giving refreshment.