What is it?
Some Compassion-registered children have access to safe water, while others do not. Ensuring safe water for every Compassion child and his or her family is critical to preserving the integrity and success of our holistic child development programs.
Compassion Water of Life was created to address this critical need and to thwart the potential threats, such as disease, of unsafe water that could derail a child’s health, education and future.
Despite impressive gains, nearly 750 million people still lack access to an improved source of drinking water 1, and 2.5 billion do not use improved sanitation facilities. 2
Every year, contaminated water kills about 3.4 million people; of those deaths, 99 percent occur in the developing world. 3
Diarrhea acquired from contaminated water causes more child deaths each year than malaria, AIDS and measles combined and is the second-most common health problem treated through Compassion’s Child Survival Program. 4
In fiscal year 2014-15, Compassion’s clean water initiatives included:
- Provision of safe water through 100 new borehole wells, 95 large water-storage tanks and 26 large-scale water purification systems;
- Distribution of more than 51,000 in-home water filtration systems in 14 countries where Compassion works;
- Installation of restrooms and hand-washing sinks at 170 Compassion projects;
- Procurement of nearly $4.1 million to fund WaSH (water, sanitation and hygiene) proposals.
How Does it Work?
A $79 donation gives a child and his or her family one complete safe water system that will yield the family 1 million gallons of safe water — enough for a lifetime. The system contains a bucket, hose, filter, connector and a syringe that is used occasionally for rinsing the filter with clean water.
Training on how to use Compassion Water of Life and hygiene education are provided with every system to ensure long-term results and improved health.
Since 2011, Compassion has distributed nearly 211,000 filter systems to impoverished households in 17 of the 26 countries where it works.
Compassion Water of Life has been proven and tested by doctors and the United Nations. The system is based upon the same technology developed for kidney dialysis.
Each Compassion Water of Life filter is made up of tiny micro tubes with pores hundreds of times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. These pores remove deadly bacteria from water sources such as lakes, rivers, ponds or puddles and allow only clean water to pass through for drinking. The filter effectively eliminates bacterial contaminants, including Cholera, Typhoid, E. Coli and Amoebic Dysentery.
A new system can be set up and ready to use in under five minutes.
1 UNICEF, 2015 World Water Day Press Release
2 United Nations, Fact Sheet on Sanitation, 2013
3 World Health Organization (WHO), Safer Water, Better Health: Costs, benefits, and sustainability of interventions to protect and promote health, 2008
4 WHO/UNICEF, Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done, 2009