Providing adequate toilets or latrines prevents open defecation, which leads to the rapid spread of disease through communities and puts children in physical danger. Combined with hand-washing facilities, latrines not only protect children’s health but foster dignity and self-respect.
Compassion provides personal hygiene kits and hygiene education so children can form good habits that will safeguard their health for a lifetime. From basic hand-washing to dental hygiene, Compassion-assisted children learn to care for themselves and lead by example.
Despite impressive gains, 844 million people worldwide lack even a basic drinking-water service and at least two billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with feces.1 There are also still 159 million people who use untreated water from rivers and lakes, considered among the most unsafe water sources.2 2.3 billion people do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines and of these, 892 million still defecate in the open.3
Each year, contaminated water causes about 502,000 diarrheal deaths, primarily in the developing world.1 The deaths of 361,000 children under five could be avoided each year if they had access to safe water, improved sanitation facilities and hand-washing hygiene education.1 Diarrhea is the second-most common health problem (behind respiratory disease) treated through Compassion Survival.
In fiscal years 2015-18, Compassion’s clean water initiatives impacted more than 170,000 Compassion children and their families through the:
- Installation of 8,449 toilets, 874 new water-access points near children’s homes and more than 276 hand-washing stations at Compassion church partners
- Provision of safe water through more than 159 new borehole wells, large water-storage tanks or large-scale water purification systems
- Distribution of more than 20,400 in-home water filtration systems in 17 countries where Compassion works
How Does it Work?
Every $1 you invest in Water and Sanitation Priority Initiative creates a $4 return because whole communities spend less on healthcare and more on education and in the local economy.