SAFE DRINKING WATER
Safe water for drinking and hygiene is a basic
necessity of life that most of us take for granted; yet for much
of the world a safe supply of water does not exist.
RWF is working to increase access to safe
drinking water in communities in Central America. Since 2005, RWF
has funded water projects in rural Honduras and Guatemala. The
projects entail the construction of mountain-spring fed
gravity-flow systems that bring the water from the mountain source
down to the village directly into homes setup with taps, latrines
and drainage for wastewater. The projects also include education
focused on hygiene, water management, improving construction
skills and environmental sustainability. Currently we are raising
funds for water projects in Capuca and San Bartolo, Honduras.
We are partnered with Water.org in Honduras and
Global Partners Running Waters in Guatemala.
Over 1.1 billion people do not have access to
safe water and 2.4 billion do not have adequate sanitation
facilities. Waterborne and sanitation-related diseases kill over 3
million people annually and disable countless millions, making the
campaign for safe water and effective sanitation one of the
leading health challenges of our time. Contaminated water, lack of
wastewater treatment and raw sewage are major causes of disease in
the developing world. It is estimated that 80 percent of all
infectious disease is transmitted through water. The two principal
routes of disease transmission are by drinking contaminated water
and having insufficient quantities of safe water for washing and
personal hygiene. Waterborne diseases can be bacterial, viral or
parasitic. They include cholera, typhoid, infectious hepatitis,
poliomyelitis, schistosomiasis, trachoma, hookworm, ascariasis,
drancunculiasis (guinea worm) and disease related to arsenic
contamination. The results of these diseases are devastating.
There are 4 billion cases of diarrhea each year, resulting in over
2.2 million deaths, mostly of children age five and under.
Trachoma has blinded over 6 million, and 200 million people are
infected with schistosomasis with 20 million of those suffering
from active disease. Intestinal worms infect nearly 10 percent of
the population of the developing world, resulting in malnutrition,
anemia and stunted growth. The areas most affected are Africa,
Asia and Latin America. Africa has the lowest safe water coverage
of any region in the world. Over 350 million Africans do not have
access to a safe water supply, and 500 million lack access to
basic sanitation facilities.