When Francis was in Texas last month, he told the story of how a family will choose a child to walk all day with an empty jug. It is miles before the child reaches a water source, and when she arrives, she is last in a long line when it is nearly dark. The child will mark her place in line and then fall asleep right there on the ground. By the time she wakes up in the morning, it is her turn to fill up the family jug of water—and then she must walk the full days’ journey back home with a 40-lb container balanced on her head.
In 2015, the World Economic Forum announced the water crisis as the #1 global risk based on impact to society.
To illustrate this, here are some grave statistics. 1/3 of the globe has no access to toilets. Over twice the population of the US has no access to safe water. In developing countries, 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation. Nearly 1 million children under the age of 5 die from diarrhea every year, a disease caused by poor sanitation. 443 million school days each year are lost due to water-related diseases—not including the 40 billion hours in Sub-Saharan Africa spent annually by young girls collecting water instead of going to school.
The water crisis is deadly and powerful, one of the biggest causes of extreme poverty right now.
You can make a difference by supplying water to impoverished communities. CRF has a water well drilling rig—as well as a grant that matches every gift of $5,000 for a water well.
When you help drill a well, you are completely transforming a community. With one well, you make it possible for farmers to provide for their families, for girls to attend school instead of hauling water all day long, and you are preventing many deaths among vulnerable children.