Greetings brothers and sisters in the Lord,
Access to clean drinking water remains a challenge for billions of people around the world.
According to the World Health Organization:
- 785 million people lack even a basic drinking-water service, including 144 million people who are dependent on surface water.
- Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with feces.
- Contaminated water can transmit diseases such diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio. Contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause 485 000 diarrheal deaths each year.
- By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas.
- In least developed countries, 22% of health care facilities have no water service, 21% no sanitation service, and 22% no waste management service.
Water scarcity is a growing problem in the Middle East including an important lake in Biblical history, the Dead Sea.
The following is an excerpt of an article in the Smithsonian Magazine:
Gidon Bromberg is nervous. On a sweltering August afternoon, the Israeli environmental activist leads me along the shore of the Dead Sea, watching every step we take. Towering sandstone mesas loom above our heads; the saline lake extends like a shimmering sheet of turquoise toward the hazy mountains of Jordan. The temperature is pushing 110 degrees, the sun beats down on my neck, and my feet crunch pieces of petrified driftwood and calcium deposits—wrinkled white sheets that bear a disturbing resemblance to human rib cages. Bromberg stops abruptly beside a gaping crater, more than 60 feet deep, and a sign that reads DANGER: OPEN PITS. “Better not walk any farther,” he warns. “The ground could swallow us whole.”
Up and down the Dead Sea, on the Jordanian and Israeli coasts, the shoreline is pockmarked by these sinkholes—testifying to an environmental catastrophe. The Dead Sea is shrinking, and as it recedes, the fresh water aquifers along the perimeter of the lake are receding along with it. As this fresh water diffuses into salt deposits beneath the surface of the shoreline, the water slowly dissolves the deposits until the earth above collapses without warning. More than 1,000 sinkholes have appeared in the past 15 years. In that time, sinkholes have swallowed a portion of road, date-palm fields and several buildings on the sea’s northwest coast.
A WorldVision.org article notes the advantages of clean drinking water:
Access to clean water changes everything; it’s a stepping-stone to development. When people gain access to clean water, they are better able to practice good hygiene and sanitation.
Children enjoy good health and are more likely to attend school. Parents put aside their worries about water-related diseases and lack of access to clean water. Instead, they can water crops and livestock and diversify their incomes. Communities no longer vie for rights to a waterhole.
World Vision, an international Christian ministry, is reaching one new person with clean water every 10 seconds. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they provided handwashing facilities at 4,789 schools and 2,480 healthcare facilities, and nearly 1 million households gained access as well.
For more information about how you can help provide clean drinking water to those in need check out one or more of the following Christian Ministries:
- Blood:Water Mission – Founded in 2004 by the Christian band Jars of Clay, and activist Jena Lee Nardella, Blood:Water began as a grass roots movement to address the HIV/Aids crises in African by addressing the two important elements to reducing the spread of HIV/Aids crises in Africa. The need for clean drinking water and providing education about the spread of blood borne illnesses.
- Compassion International Water & Sanitation Project – Compassion partners with thousands of local churches in 25 countries to bring safe water and improved sanitation to the children in our care. Clean water helps them stay healthy, remain active in school and focus their energy on overcoming poverty.
- Samaritan’s Purse Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Project – Each year approximately 842,000 people die diseases caused by unclean water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene habits. The majority of these are children in developing countries. Providing clean water, coupled with health and hygiene education, is perhaps the most effective measure we can take in preventing infectious disease. Samaritan’s Purse works around the world to provide clean water and promote safe hygiene practices.
- World Vision Clean WASH – World Vision’s WASH program provides access to clean water and improved sanitation to the forgotten, the marginalized, and the vulnerable globally.
- Hamner, Joshua. The Dying of the Dead Sea in the Smithsonian Magazine.
- World Health Organization. Drinking Water
- World Vision. Global Water Crisis: Facts, FAQs, and How to Help