Samaritan's Purse is meeting critical needs and transforming communities by providing access to clean, safe water
The statistics should shock us.
More than one in six people around the world do not have access to improved water sources, according to the World Health Organization. Around 894 million people worldwide are forced to collect dangerous or polluted water for their daily use.
But when you live in a country where water is readily accessible, it can be difficult to appreciate the global crisis.
“Water is something that many of us who live in North America take for granted,” said David Philips, the Samaritan’s Purse country director for South Sudan. “There are millions of people who lack access to clean, safe drinking water.”
Hundreds of thousands of them live in South Sudan, where water is scarce and poor hygiene practices have caused much of the surface water to be disease-ridden. About 70 percent of the 900,000 people in the world’s newest nation do not have access to improved water sources.
“This has an incalculable impact on the people that live here in South Sudan,” Philips said. “More people die because of lack of access to clean, safe drinking water than AIDS, measles, and malaria combined.”
Samaritan’s Purse is responding to the need in South Sudan by drilling wells that are transforming communities.
“Every well will provide water to about 60 households, which is about 300 to 400 people,” said Ken Isaacs, the Vice President of Programs and Government Relations for Samaritan’s Purse. “That well will give them access to clean water. That well will give them a closer proximity to the water source, reducing the amount of time that the ladies have to walk to get it and also increasing the amount of total liters or gallons that’s available for the household. The net result of all of this is a healthier family.”
A well dramatically improves the health in a community. Philips said that clinicians in South Sudan claim that access to clean drinking water can reduce the incidence of preventable illness by half.
“This isn’t an easy place to work,” Isaacs said. “This isn’t a cheap place to work. For us to come here is doing the thing that Samaritan’s Purse does the most. We’re crossing the road to meet people where they are lying in the ditches of life.”
On Monday, Samaritan’s Purse launched a campaign to raise enough funds to drill five new wells in South Sudan. The effort ends on Friday, World Water Day.
In two days, God had provided enough money for 12 wells. But there are many more villages still in need. We are asking for prayers and support to reach even more people with clean, safe water and the hope of the Gospel.