663 million people – 1 in 10 – lack access to safe water; 2.4 billion people – 1 in 3 – lack access to a toilet. Water.org is dedicated to changing this. Through sustainable solutions and financing models such as WaterCredit, we can provide safe water and the dignity of a toilet for all.
Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers innovative, community-driven and market-based solutions to provide access to safe water and sanitation — giving women hope, children health and communities a future. To date, Water.org has positively transformed millions of lives around the world, ensuring a better life for generations ahead.
In Bangladesh, Water.org offers both grant and WaterCredit programs, and is addressing safe water needs in urban areas. Water.org’s urban program focuses on the slums of the capital city, Dhaka.
Water.org’s projects in Ethiopia are located in the regions of Tigray and Amhara. The need for water and sanitation in Ethiopia is severe. Just under half of the population has access to an improved water supply, and only 21% of the population has access to adequate sanitation services.
Water.org is working in two rural areas in Ghana: Volta Region around Lake Volta and Upper East Region, which borders Burkina Faso and Togo. Both districts are remote and poor, with less than half of the population unable to access safe water and very few families with access to improved sanitation. The rural areas suffer from many waterborne diseases, including diarrhea. Water.org and partner organizations work with communities to construct wells, latrines and biosand filters in Ghana as well as to provide health and hygiene education.
Forty percent of the people in Haiti lack access to clean water and only one in five have access to a sanitary toilet. At the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, Water.org announced its commitment to reach 50,000 Haitians with clean water and sanitation by June 2014. Water.org will bring a mix of different solutions to its work with Haiti.
Water.org’s very first project was in Honduras, in 1990. Today, we have helped more than 40 Honduran communities build their own safe drinking water systems. We are proud to say that more than 11,000 people in rural Honduras now have adequate access to safe drinking water, thanks to the support of our donors, our Honduran partner organizations, and the hard work and dedication of community members.
Our program in Honduras focuses on the Departments of Lempira and Intibuca, in western Honduras. The once heavily forested Departments now suffer from deforestation. This has led to extreme depletion of the local water tables, forcing women and children to walk far distances to collect water for their families.
Water.org’s program in India provides safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities to the families living in rural and urban Indian communities in 11 states and one Union Territory (UT) – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharsashtra, Rajashthan, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry (UT). Water.org offers both grant and WaterCredit programs in India.
Water.org began working in Indonesia in 2013 and has since partnered with four microfinance institutions to provide water and sanitation loans. Water.org sees great potential for expanding in Indonesia and plans on launching additional partnerships with microfinance institutions in 2015.
Currently Water.org supports a country-wide WaterCredit initiative with four microfinance institutions in both rural and urban areas. The programs provide a variety of water and sanitation products to fit the needs of households such as rainwater harvesting tanks, water connections, shallow wells, pumps, VIP latrines, septic tanks, and biogas toilets.
Historically Water.org has supported direct impact programs in Nyanza and Eastern Provinces. In rural communities in Nyanza Province Water.org implemented safe water and sanitation programs in schools, piloted WaterCredit models, and constructed water sources, such as boreholes. In rural, water-scarce Eastern Province Water.org supported community boreholes, school and community sanitation, and hygiene education.
Water.org’s current programs in Uganda operate in partnership with microfinance institutions, providing loans for water and sanitation through WaterCredit. These programs are in peri-urban communities around Kampala and will soon be scaled-up country-wide. More than 40% of people living in the greater Kampala area live in unplanned settlements. Of those residents, only 17% have access to piped water.
Many people use springs and other surface sources that are highly contaminated due to poor drainage and little regulation of waste disposal. High population growth (more than 5% annually) due to migration to informal settlements stresses water and sanitation resources that are currently available.
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