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Biological Activated Carbon Filtration SystemsIndia is one of the many nations experiencing problems generating clean water for its population. More than 50% of India’s population cannot access safe drinking water. Like most of the world, the country currently adds chlorine to most of its drinking water sources to kill parasites, bacteria and viruses. While chlorination is effective at killing harmful pollutants, it generates harmful disinfection byproducts (DBPs) that include haloacetic acids (HAAs). These byproducts have links to colon cancer, negative reproductive effects during pregnancy and bladder cancer. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology studying the Ganga River, a water source for more than 200,000 Indian citizens, have found an effective way to remove most haloacetic acids from their drinking water. Using biological activated carbon filtration systems, the researchers were able to minimize HAAs.

The Situation Globally

Clean water is essential for life. With access to safe water, societies can turn their problems into potential and their citizens can flourish. Unfortunately, according to Water.org, almost 795 million people (one in nine) lack access to adequate drinking water and more than two billion people do not have toilets. Additionally, 4.2 billion people lack adequate sanitation services whereas three billion cannot access proper handwashing stations.

The effects of the water crisis are not limited to just health. The time that people spend finding passable water and safe sanitation accounts for billions in lost economic opportunities. Water.org has estimated that people lose $260 billion each year from subpar basic water and sanitation. Further, many children lose time enriching their education because they have to collect water for their families.

Issues revolving around accessibility to clean water will only increase in the years to come. Experts predict that water demand is going to increase over the next 30 years due to over-exploited groundwater, population growth, urbanization and rising industrial demand. However, recent technological advancements using biological activated carbon filtration systems could provide a simple and cost-effective solution.

Benefits of Biological Carbon Filtration Systems

Biologically enhanced active carbon filters combine the processes of ozonation and granular activated carbon. The removal of organic compounds within activated carbon filters offers many benefits. Among these benefits are decreased dissolved organic carbon and hydrogen sulfide. Researchers studying the Ganga River found that biological carbon filtration systems proved effective at reducing 75.8% of the harmful HAAs from the water source allowing it to meet U.S. EPA water standards.

However, these biofilters do have some minor drawbacks. They are unable to remove other contaminants such as iron and nitrate. Therefore, filters such as green sand or reverse osmosis (RO) may be necessary with the biological activated carbon filters to remove all potentially harmful pollutants from the water.

Optimistic Future in Water Filtration Technology

While the current statistics portray a harrowing present and future for clean drinking water accessibility, there are still reasons to remain optimistic. In India, biological activated carbon filtration systems coupled with chlorination are an effective and cost-effective method to increase clean water accessibility. If one adds reverse osmosis to this method and increases the scale, the Indian population could have nearly perfect drinking water.

As the international community continues to invest and filtration technology improves, the number of citizens lacking access to clean water and sanitation will rapidly decrease.

– Winston Davis
Photo: Flickr

Improving Water Access In BrazilThe South American country of Brazil has an abundant water supply. In fact, Brazil’s water supply makes up 20% of the entire water supply of the world. Brazil’s energy sector is significantly dependant on water as the country uses hydropower for 62% of its energy. Irrigation activities to preserve Brazil’s important agriculture industry uses 72% of Brazil’s water supply. Despite an abundance of water, many people in Brazil find it challenging to gain access to reliable water and sanitation. While the wealthier part of Brazil’s population has better access to water and sanitation, the more impoverished part of the population struggles with obtaining these resources. Due to the dire circumstances that disadvantaged people in Brazil find themselves in, organizations are dedicating efforts to improving water access in Brazil.

Water.org Assists

According to Water.org, three million Brazilians lack access to safe water. Lack of access to clean water and sanitation impacts the socioeconomic development of Brazil and also affects people’s health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, safe water access is vital for hygienic measures to prevent transmission of the virus.

Water.org is an organization dedicated to ensuring that people worldwide have access to safe water and sanitation resources. According to Water.org, financing can often be an obstacle to water access. In order to resolve this, Water.org implemented the WaterCredit Initiative loan program. By providing small loans, financial barriers are overcome and people have access to water and sanitation. Thanks to more than 15 years of WaterCredit’s efforts, more than 36 million people in 13 countries have access to safe water and sanitation facilities.

Lower-income communities in Brazil do not receive the same amount of financing as the wealthy. This makes the population even more vulnerable. Using the WaterCredit Initiative, Water.org has been able to provide safe water and sanitation for 107,000 Brazilians. With this success, Water.org plans on continually improving water access in Brazil.

Providing Water in Sao Paulo

The state of Sao Paulo in Brazil is heavily urbanized and susceptible to water shortages. To rectify this problem, the World Bank and partners devised the Sao Paulo Water Recovery Project. The project targeted communities around the five key watersheds of Sao Paulo and aimed to reduce the amount of water wasted and improve upon existing water systems. Furthermore, the project worked closely with water providers in Sao Paulo and was successful in many ways. Certainly, the project’s efforts helped to benefit almost 98,000 people by the project’s close in May 2017. The project was able to save 47 million cubic meters of water annually. The total amount of recovered water amounts to a water supply adequate for a city of 800,000 people, which reveals how successful recovery efforts were.

The efforts of organizations provide long-term solutions to improve living conditions for impoverished people in Brazil. By improving water access in Brazil, the right to water access is upheld and people are able to live better quality lives.

Jacob E. Lee
Photo: Unsplash

water crisis in Kenya Kenya’s economy remains the largest and most developed in East Africa, yet 36.1% of the population lived below the poverty line in 2015. This is predicted to moderately decrease to 32.4% in 2021. Although poverty rates continue to decrease, experts state poverty in Kenya is unlikely to resolve by 2030 at the current pace. Addressing the water crisis in Kenya is critical to improving conditions for citizens and reducing poverty.

Kenya’s Water Crisis

Kenya has shown rapid growth in education, with a literate population of 81.5% in 2018 for people 15 and older. Roughly 58% of adults older than 24 have also completed primary education, a notable increase from 44% in 2005. Despite progress in education and literacy, improved access to clean water in Kenya remains low. With long droughts and dry spells, water scarcity is an overwhelming concern. Kenyans living in rural areas rely on ponds, rivers and shallow wells as piped water connections are often unreliable. Women and children have the duties of traveling to collect water every day. This sidelines their education and increases the risk of contracting a  waterborne disease such as cholera.

Tackling Kenya’s water scarcity can seem daunting and many wonder how to help. Many question whether a small contribution will even make a difference. However, every effort to end the water crisis makes a substantial impact on Kenyan communities. There are a few easy ways to help contribute to solving the water crisis today.

  • Donate. A simple Google search will reveal an abundance of organizations working tirelessly to address the water shortage in Kenya. Checks can be sent via mail or donations can be made with a phone call or a simple click of a button. If time is of concern, in less than five minutes, anyone can sign up to make donations via credit card without even leaving their home.
  • Shop Smart. Help solve the water crisis by supporting businesses that make considerable donations to nonprofits. Buy coffee products at Golden Made Kafé and the organization will donate 5% of the proceeds to Water.org to support water access efforts in countries like Kenya. Gift a book from AwesOm Life to a friend and it will donate 100% of the proceeds to organizations like Water.org. Purchase coloring books from Hidden Words Coloring and it will donate 10% of book sale revenue to support Water.org’s mission of global water access.
  • The Water Challenge. Instead of buying soda or sports drinks, commit to drinking only water for two weeks. More than 800 groups all over the United States and Canada have taken part in The Water Challenge to raise money for the water crisis in Africa. Donate the money that would have otherwise been spent on beverages and it will provide at least one person access to clean water.
  • Share Stories. In a globalized world bombarded with technology, one share on Facebook could make a difference in whether someone will have access to clean water or not. Follow UNICEF’s water access efforts on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to learn more and share stories with friends and family to spread awareness.

The Road Ahead

Kenya has certainly made considerable progress in its development. However, the scarcity of water is an issue that results in Kenya lagging behind neighboring countries. It is important to have access to clean water now more than ever to support hygiene efforts to protect people from COVID-19 and other diseases. It may feel overwhelming to solve the water crisis in Kenya, but the crisis continues to move in a positive direction. With a push of a button, anyone can contribute to reducing global poverty.

Mio Vogt
Photo: Flickr

Water Supply in the PhilippinesReliable water resources are an important issue within the Philippines. Currently, five million Filipino citizens do not have access to safe sources of water. This is especially concerning considering the rate the country is growing economically. Urbanization in the country is expected to increase exponentially in the future. Cities will become strained with the increasing population, which will make it more difficult for the citizens in those cities to have access to reliable water resources. Despite the dire circumstances, efforts are being made to improve the water supply in the Philippines. Many of these efforts are being led by organizations that specialize in helping communities access water resources.

Water.org’s Contributions

Water.org is an organization that is working to improve the water supply in the Philippines. The organization devotes its efforts to providing reliable access to water resources to populations around the world. Water.org carries out this goal through the use of financing solutions for households that require a reliable water supply. By providing, small affordable loans, Water.org has been able to provide 4.3 million people in the Philippines with reliable water resources since 2014. Water.org will continue to work with utility providers in the Philippines so that it can continue to provide water resources to people that need them.

The Efforts of Water Governance Facility

Water Governance Facility (WFG) is another organization that is trying to improve the water supply in the Philippines. The WFG has similar goals to that of Water.org. It seeks to ensure that people around the world have affordable and reliable access to water supplies.

The WGF has been able to help the people of the Philippines using the GoAL WaSH program. The purpose of this program is to provide clean drinking water and proper sanitation. WGF achieves this goal by not only drilling wells and building toilets but also by engaging the local governance of the area it operates in for sustainable and impactful change. In the Philippines, the WFG has been able to provide 7,169 households with reliable sources of water. The WFG is also able to monitor the quality of drinking water. The WFG can then promptly stop the use of any contaminated water sources detected.

The Manila Water Foundation

Another organization that is trying to help provide citizens of the Philippines with reliable water resources is the Manila Water Foundation. The organization runs a multitude of programs that help achieve this goal. The Lingap program focuses on providing schools and other locations like health institutions and city centers with a reliable water supply. The program started in 2010. In 2019, Lingap helped a total of 46 schools, city halls and health centers. This equates to more than 149,000 beneficiaries across these 46 different locations. The water supply that Lingap provides for these students and staff can be used for drinking, handwashing and toothbrushing. Through its many programs, the Manila Water Foundation is working to improve the water supply in the Philippines.

The Philippines has made notable efforts to improve water resources for its people. With more efforts, even greater strides can be made in the water and sanitation sector.

Jacob E. Lee
Photo: Flickr

Clean Drinking Water in the PhilippinesAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), 2.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking, with people in rural areas with limited infrastructure being mostly affected. Within the Philippines, this concept manifests in that 91% of the country’s estimated 100.7 million population have access to basic water services, but access is highly inequitable across the country, with regional basic water services access ranging from 62% to 100%. To combat water insecurity, government bodies, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and independent parties have collaborated to ensure that all citizens have access to clean drinking water in the Philippines.

The Philippine Clean Water Act

In 2004, the government passed the Philippine Clean Water Act which aims to protect water bodies from pollution and monitor their safety. This was implemented through multiple boards of governors and local mayors who were given specific water sources to monitor and maintain. By localizing management, the government found that leaders were more driven to clean their water because it affected their personal community. In addition, this strategy hinged upon community involvement as well, which led to a greater public awareness of water sanitation. In other countries with a similar problem, this localized strategy could work to create a body of legislators invested in water access, which would lead to cleaner water overall.

Hydropanel Fields

Water sanitizing technology has also been instrumental in guaranteeing access to all populations in the Philippines, specifically the rural ones. For the indigenous people of Palawan, the lack of clean drinking water is due to their lack of access to city centers and infrastructure. SOURCE Global and Conservation International collaborated to create a field of hydropanels that will create 40,000 liters of clean drinking water each year. Because the hydropanels are portable and easy to assemble, they can theoretically be used anywhere in the world. This opens up possibilities globally for communities with inadequate drinking water access. Going forward, this model could be used to eradicate water insecurity.

Water.org

Another influential NGO has been Water.org, which provides no-interest loans to families trying to gain access to clean water in their homes. These loans are used to rig homes with plumbing as well as build wells. The organization is unique in that it addresses the economic issues associated with a lack of clean water. Without clean water, families contract diseases at higher rates, which limits their ability to work and earn an income. In addition, because these illnesses tend to affect children at higher proportions, access to clean water means a chance for education. Water.org’s belief is that by providing rural communities with their own funding, the people in that community will be able to build themselves up independently and ensure a legacy of success. As of now, the goal of the organization is to help the government in the Philippines reach its goal of access to clean drinking water for all by 2028.

Other Organizations for Water Access

Two other notable NGOs are DAI and Clean Water International. Both of these organizations work globally to ensure all people have access to clean water. In the Philippines, DAI specifically works to improve sanitation techniques. This has been accomplished through infrastructure projects that transport water in safer ways as well as education campaigns that teach communities how to check if the water is clean and how to clean it properly. Similar to this, Clean Water International has worked to increase sanitation. Both of these organizations maintain that proper sanitation is essential to access to clean water and have provided the funds to create proper water sanitation.

Access to Clean Drinking Water

Without access to clean water, communities are barred from work opportunities, exposed to disease and experience the effects of poverty at higher proportions. As seen in the Philippines, a multi-faceted and robust approach is needed to address this crisis and it requires the cooperation of all. The problem of lack of access to clean drinking water in the Philippines cannot be addressed simply by giving communities water bottles. It must be a ground-up approach that gives communities the tools to create and access clean water for years to come.

– Mary Buffaloe
Photo: Flickr

Women's Rights in Ghana
People have explored the topic of gender rights for many decades as women’s conventional role in modern society drastically changed. This evolution changed how genders interacted with one another and challenged the conventional norms of patriarchy that went unchecked for centuries. Women’s rights in Ghana is important socially and economically. Although ahead of its neighboring counterparts economically, politically and developmentally, there is still a wide gender gap that needs bridging.

Beginning of Women’s Independence

Ghana is a West African country located on the Gulf of Guinea and enjoys a tropical climate. Ghana gained independence from British colonial rule in 1957. There is no denying the role of Ghanaian women’s benefaction to the outcome of this freedom, as it segued into the establishment of the National Council of Ghana Women in 1960. The council’s intent was to empower and benefit women’s rights in Ghana by developing vocational training centers and daycare facilities.

Efforts to propel women to the forefront of the country’s progression were lacking. The numbers show how far behind women were in comparison to their male counterparts. Ghana is “in the bottom 25% worldwide for women in parliament, healthy life expectancy, enrolment in tertiary education, literacy rate, and women in the professional and technical workforce.”

Enrollment in Tertiary Education

Tertiary education illustrated the gender gap in Ghana best. Looking at the reasons separating women from pursuing higher learning exposes the patriarchal ideology woven into society. In general, keeping girls in education raises a country’s GDP. According to a report by Water.org, increasing accessibility for children in Ghana “on a global scale, for every year a girl stays in school, her income can increase by 15-25%.”

Impact of Literacy Rates

The impact of literacy is as severe as reducing a country’s GDP. However, with such devastating numbers related to the gender gap in Ghana, the sinking literacy rates had to be addressed. Women in Ghana do not necessarily obtain the ability to read and write from receiving a formal education due to the consequences of the quick development of schools in low-income countries such as Ghana. There is a current disruption in educating students due to the exponential growth within education systems, which impacts the school’s full potential. However, the literacy rate for women in Ghana has made significant progress over the years. According to the World Bank’s data report in 2018, the literacy rate for females aged 15 or older is 74.47%. While the literacy rate for females aged 15 to 24 years old is 92.2%, increasing young girls’ independence.

Women’s Employment and Labor Force

Currently, 46.5% of the labor force in Ghana is female. However, these women participate in domestic labor, such as in the agricultural field, without any pay, which limits their independence. Despite the rights Ghanaian women have gained since the 1960s, the country has recognized that economic growth does not necessarily reduce gender-based employment and wage gaps.

Contrary to the women who receive no pay, women who earn a subsistence wage through agriculture are at risk of significant health issues due to the physically demanding nature. Ghana is a traditional-based society explaining gender-based roles. However, one nongovernmental organization defending women’s rights in Ghana is Womankind. The organization emerged in 1991 with the goal of ending violence against all women in Ghana. This can help increase their social rights and political power within the government. Over 600 women in Ghana received recognition for their professional training experience to construct their own political decisions within the last five years. The secondary school leadership roles consist of 30 young girls who studied management within the organization. As a result, this increases the chances of independence and rights for women in Ghana.

Developing Women’s Rights in Ghana

Women and men are legally equal in Ghana, and women’s rights in Ghana have made significant progress. However, multiple aspects of traditional society affect gender equality, impacting their rights as women. With educational empowerment and recognizing that economic growth does not necessarily mean women are receiving the same job opportunities as men, gender equality will be more promising in Ghana.

Montana Moore
Photo: Flickr

viral hepatitis in IndiaViral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of death in India, where more than 60 million people are infected with this deadly disease. Known as a “silent killer,” hepatitis is a viral disease that can cause inflammation in the liver. Different types of hepatitis refer to the type of virus infecting its host. In India, Hepatitis A (HAV) is amongst the most common, particularly for children. However, other types of hepatitis, such as type E or type C, still pose a large threat to the health and wellbeing of Indian citizens.

Current Problems Regarding Viral Hepatitis in India

In India, Hepatitis B infects at least 40 million people, and Hepatitis C infects more than 6 million. As of now, viral hepatitis in India is becoming a serious health concern, especially amongst children. With few vaccinations available, many children aren’t able to prevent this disease. As of now, less than 44% of children are fully vaccinated against hepatitis. In contrast, Nepal and Bangladesh have more than 80% of their children fully scheduled for vaccinations. India has almost seven million children unvaccinated. As a result, this makes them more vulnerable to viruses such as hepatitis.

Only 1.2% of India’s national budget goes toward vaccinations. The lack of government assistance contributes to the overwhelming number of children that remain unvaccinated. Even this budget only goes toward six basic vaccinations, comprising diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, tuberculosis, polio and measles, meaning that it excludes hepatitis.

Another large contributor to the spread of this disease is poor infrastructure, often found in impoverished areas. Pipelines with water contamination are more likely to spread the virus, especially in urban cities. India has one of the largest water crises due to poor filtration and contaminated pipelines. Only 32% of piped water has been treated because rivers and lakes are more prone to sewage, leading to micro-contaminations. As Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E are waterborne viruses, it remains a priority for the Indian government to treat its contaminated water supply. This is especially vital for people living in impoverished regions. More than 37 million Indians have been infected with waterborne diseases, resulting in more than 10,000 deaths annually.

Promising Solutions for Viral Hepatitis in India

Although viral hepatitis in India is a large health concern, there are countless efforts to mitigate the spread of this deadly disease. For example, the World Health Organization and UNICEF have established the Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. This program led 17 states in India to reach the Millenium Development Goal 7 (MDG). Additionally, the government of India established the National Virus Hepatitis Control Program, which gives access to more testing and treatment. This program focuses on rural areas and hopes to end viral hepatitis by 2030.

Some smaller nonprofit organizations are also working to prevent the spread of hepatitis. For example, Water.org has 34 partnerships in India, including with UNICEF and the World Bank. Additionally, Water.org has been able to provide more than 13 million people with water and sanitation with $599 million from its partnerships. The BridgIT Foundation has similar goals in solving the water crisis in the most affected counties. As of now, it has built wells in 30 villages. In addition, it partners up with the Rural Development Society and the Sri K. Pitchi Reddy Educational & Welfare Society to reach more than 30,000 people who don’t have access to clean water.

The Path Ahead to Reform

Although eradicating viral hepatitis remains a priority in India, reform begins with the basis of the problem. By improving its resources, such as sanitation and vaccination, India will be able to reduce the spread of viral diseases like hepatitis. With the number of government and local efforts, there is a large chance of mitigating viral hepatitis in India in the near future.

Aishwarya Thiyagarajan 
Photo: Flickr

Clean Water TechnologyNearly 30% of the world’s total population does not have access to clean, on-site water service. Roughly 26% of the world also consumes toxic water. Toxic water spreads various diseases including hepatitis A, cholera, diarrhea and polio. Therefore, it is essential for communities and populations to receive access to clean water. Numerous nongovernmental organizations are attempting to tackle this issue by providing affordable clean water technology to developing regions.

Maji Safi

An engineering student and two professors at the University of Purdue are founders of Maji Safi. Their goal was to provide affordable clean water technology to developing regions. The organization began doing so by installing sand filters in rural communities.

The sand filter technology requires rudimentary supplies that can be found within the region they are implemented. For example, containers are made out of plastic buckets that are filled with sand and water. A plastic dish with a webbed bag is then used to collect water at the bottom. Finally, the filter purifies the contaminated water by utilizing sand as a breeding ground for bacterial growth. This type of bacteria absorbs and digests specific materials in the water that are toxic. As a final precautionary step, minimal quantities of chlorine further purify the water.

Maji Safi International has successfully applied this sand filter technology, ceramic filters and wells in various developing communities. The nonprofit organization would like to install a thousand of these filters over the next decade as well as improve its filter technology with the use of water pumps and smartphones.

The Paani Project

Paani is another NGO that has a mission of providing affordable clean water technology to developing regions. Four students at the University of Michigan are founders of the Paani Project. Their parents were raised in Pakistan. These students focus primarily on preventing Pakistan from becoming a water-stressed nation. Therefore, the students created a nonprofit organization that builds sustainable wells.

Since the organization’s creation, more than 750 wells have been built. Each well generates safe drinking-water for one hundred citizens. The organization also aids in providing Pakistani hospitals with supplies to effectively treat water-borne diseases.

The Paani Project’s mission is not only to provide affordable clean water technology to developing regions in Pakistan. It is also to raise water security awareness, provide hospitals with supplies for disease treatment and educate citizens about water-borne disease prevention.

Water.org

This NGO may not provide an innovative solution to purify water, but water.org does break down economic obstacles prohibiting individuals from acquiring water. Water.org does so through its “WaterCredit Intiative.” In over a dozen countries, this initiative allows individuals to apply for financing to acquire water services.

 

These are just three examples of NGOs that aim to provide affordable clean water technology to developing nations. Founders of these organizations understand that having access to clean water is necessary for health, economic development and more. Clean water allows our bodies to sustain healthy organs, eradicate the possibility of water-borne transmitted diseases and is essential for sanitation and hygiene, which is why it is crucial.

John Brinkman
Photo: Wikimedia Commons


Parents always want the best for their children, but in an increasingly overwhelming world, it can be hard to stay positive. As a society, we need to actively work harder to inspire future generations to protect our planet and its people. Thankfully, there are many amazing role models out there that can motivate children to get involved in making the world a better place.

Top 5 Role Models for Children

  1. Malala YousafzaiMalala is one of the most famous role models of our time. She was born in the small village of Mingora, Pakistan, where it was uncommon for girls to go to school. At just 11 years old, she was forced out of school when the Taliban, the Sunni Islamist military organization, took control of her village. After speaking out about gender equality and the right to learn, she was shot in the head at 15 years old. At this point, most people would have given up, but not Malala. She kept fighting and made her own organization called the Malala Fund—a charity dedicated to fighting for equal rights and providing girls worldwide the opportunity to attend school. That year, she became the youngest person to receive a Nobel Peace Prize and later went on to graduate from Oxford University.
  2. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC, has made headlines across the United States. One of the most progressive candidates, and backed by Senator Bernie Sanders, AOC recently got reelected and kept her spot as a representative for New York’s 14th congressional district at just 30 years old. AOC has been vocal about the wealth inequality gap, racial discrimination and climate change. In a time of uncertainty, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s election has been seen as a progression toward an equal world.
  3. Pink — Alecia Beth Moore, known professionally as Pink, has not only achieved momentous achievements as a singer but has often used her fame to advocate for equality and children’s rights. As a UNICEF ambassador, Pink raises awareness about global poverty, malnutrition and access to education and medicine. Moreover, Pink has supported charities related to HIV/AIDS, animal rights and women’s rights, among others. The famous singer even gets her children involved in the work, making sure to instill a sense of charity in them. At one of her rehearsals, Pink’s daughter set up a backstage candy sale to raise money for the impoverished communities in Haiti. This is a great way to get the kids involved and inspire them to do more on their own.
  4. Selena Gomez — Seen as a triple threat in the entertainment industry, Selena Gomez is another fantastic role model for children. In addition to her successful career, Gomez has consistently shown support for various charities and philanthropic endeavors worldwide. She was also appointed a UNICEF ambassador in 2009 and has dedicated a lot of time to improve societal and economic equality in the world by participating in various UNICEF campaigns and continuing charitable work on her own. Recently, Gomez has used her social media platforms to spread awareness about the social and racial injustices in the United States. Selena Gomez has also shown support for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Malala Fund and Free the Children, among others.
  5. Matt DamonMatt Damon is an incredible actor who is no stranger to charity work. He has pledged to provide clean water for impoverished communities worldwide by creating his nonprofit organization. In 2009, Matt Damon and Gary White co-founded Water.org that helps more than 17 countries receive clean water and sanitation supplies. Additionally, Water.org, through its WaterCredit program and microfinancing, supports households living in poverty with loans to obtain essential water systems, making clean water safe, cost-effective and accessible for more than 30 million people.

There are many fantastic role models worldwide that demonstrate how crucial nonprofit organizations are in improving people’s standards of living worldwide. Yet, perhaps the most important role models are the parents at home. Teach children about the real impact of charity work and get them involved in both local and global humanitarian organizations. As children grow older, they will start to venture off on their own charity projects, ensuring a brighter and equal future.

Karin Filipova
Photo: Flickr

Water Transport in Low-Income Countries
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 50 percent of the world’s population will live in water insecure areas by 2025. Around the world, about 2.2 billion people do not have safely managed water sources. This forces them to travel 30 or more minutes to get water and creates missed opportunities for those who have to take time out of their day to travel for water. Companies have created innovative solutions for water transport in low-income countries. Here are four facts about water transport in low-income countries.

4 Facts About Water Transport in Low-income Countries

  1. The WHO and UNICEF estimate that women and children fetch water for around 71 percent of households without a water source at home. This creates a disadvantage to women and girls who hope to go to school and work in the future. Studies have also shown negative physical effects on the body from constant water carrying. Individuals often have to carry much more than they can handle for 30 minutes or more on the journey home. People in these situations experience missed opportunities because of physical or mental fatigue, as well as time lost due to water collecting. A study that Jo-Ann Geere and Moa Cortobuis conducted found that the time to retrieve water ranged from 10 minutes to 65 minutes. They also may repeat this journey time multiple times per day depending on how much water they need. New ways of water transport in low-income countries are integral to the welfare of women and children in these communities.
  2. The Hippo Roller is an invention helping with water transport in low-income countries. The rolling water devices can carry up to 90 liters of water at a time and remove the need for heavy lifting. The device can last up to 7 years on rural terrain and provides a non-strenuous method of moving water from source to home. This innovative invention has made carrying water easier for around 500,000 people and the company hopes to continue to grow its outreach to more vulnerable communities.
  3. Communities continually attempt to shorten the travel distance from house to water source by building water services closer to living areas. The organization Water.org created a system called WaterCredit for people to take out microloans to install wells or sanitation facilities. The ability of homeowners to create their own source of water eliminates the need to transport water at all. The organization helped 27 million people so far in 16 countries and continues to expand on innovative ideas to bring clean water and sanitation to low-income communities.
  4. Another organization working to eliminate the need for water sources outside the home is Charity: Water. With a focus on local development, the organization takes an individualized approach to each community. It believes that by providing training and technology to local communities, individuals will have the knowledge to continue long-term maintenance on projects while expanding to new ones. The organization has empowered more than 11 million people through the funding of around 51,000 projects.

While these four facts about water transport in low-income countries show that water collection can be a challenge for many in the developing world, there are efforts to make water transportation easier. Through continued innovations like the Hippo Roller and efforts by organizations like Charity: Water and Water.org, water access for developing countries should become easier going forward.

Ashleigh Litcofsky
Photo: Flickr