Water.org: “It’s about more than water”

children and water pump

Children gather around a water pump made possible by Water.org.

For 25 years, Water.org has challenged the traditional approach to assisting people in developing countries and paved the way for developing solutions for the water crisis. Their vision is “the day when everyone in the world can take a safe drink of water.”

Fast facts:

  • Globally, women and children spend a collective 140 hours collecting water- every day.
  • 1 in 9 people lack access to safe water.
  • For every $1 spent on water and sanitation, there is a $4 economic return.

WaterCredit:

WaterCredit is the first program to put microfinance tools to work in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector. It empowers the world’s poor with access to small loans for household water connections and toilets. WaterCredit is breaking the cycle of poverty and creating a cycle of opportunity – an opportunity to enhance one’s health, education and economic position.

Here’s how it works:

  • They partner with carefully selected microfinance institutions who provide loans to a person or family in need for water connections or toilets.
  • The loans through WaterCredit are affordable, making them easy to repay.
  • Once the loan is repaid, it can go to the next person who needs it. It is a pay-it-forward system that makes it possible to help more and more people in ways that will last.

In the 2010 fiscal year alone, Water.org facilitated the disbursement of more than $1.8 million in microcredit loans for water and sanitation, reaching nearly 107,000 people. Overall, WaterCredit has empowered more than 2.6 million people in nine countries with access to safe water and sanitation. The cumulative global WaterCredit repayment rate is nearly 99 percent. Once a high risk experiment, WaterCredit is now changing the face of the water crisis.

Learn more about this amazing organization by visiting their website: www.water.org