Sickness and Death Thwarted Again by Safe Drinking Water

pictures on a wall of a walter filtration system

According to the World Health Organization, about 80 percent of all illnesses in the developing world are caused by the lack of potable water and adequate sanitation; lack of safe water is also identified among the chief causes of sickness and death in children.

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World Water Day 2011 — How Can Clean Water Make a Difference?

water filtration system with dirty water in a bucket and clean water in a glass

A person can live four weeks without food, but only three days, depending on the circumstances without water. Lack of water can cause short-term memory loss, fatigue, and trouble learning. Your body will not function without water.

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Clean Water for Haiti

The critical need the poor always have for water has been heightened in Haiti after the earthquake. We’ve used various ways to distribute water to our church partners, and we’re looking to our strategic partnerships to continue to meet the short- and long-term needs.

We have a long-standing relationship with Healing Waters International, providing water systems to church partners in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

a man stacking water jugsIn response to the immense need in Haiti, Healing Waters International has provided 2,500 one-gallon jugs of water at no cost to Compassion Haiti. The water was bottled at the Healing Waters projects at our Dominican Republic church partner sites. If there is continued need, they are equipped to begin bottling on a daily basis.

The water will be trucked to Haiti along with the family food kits being assembled at our warehouse on the Dominican Republic/Haiti border.

We will also investigate several long-term solutions, such as building water systems at church partner sites in Haiti.

According to Gregg Keen, our Complementary Interventions Director,

“Healing Waters International and Compassion have been good partners for several years. When the disaster hit Haiti, Healing Waters was among the first organizations we called to ask what their response would be. They went to heroic efforts to find available water bottles in the DR when none could be found there. Bottled water will help people to avoid drinking and using contaminated water and the related diseases they can cause, especially in a disaster situation like this one. The impact of this can’t even be measured.”

Healing Waters’ mission is to empower local ministry partners to bring physical, social and spiritual transformation to poor communities, a mission that makes them an excellent partner for us.

Read more about our partnership with Healing Waters International.

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Inside a Healing Waters International Project

Since the Healing Waters International water project opened at the Comunidad Cristiana El Santuario Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal Church in 2006, church members have had more opportunities to decide on matters that can benefit the ministry and the community of Barrio Mexico in southern coastal town of San Pedro de Macorís in Dominican Republic.

The church’s leadership calls for periodic members’ meetings where all ministry managers update the assembly on their ministry. Since all the ministries overlap in some way, these reports help the church make the best decisions.

The ministries include Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program, the Healing Waters International water project, a school and a community holistic vocational center.

These church meetings have become a forum at which the community, represented by the believers, can discuss the best ways to manage resources.
woman pouring water from pitcher
Milqueya is a mother of eight and grandma of seven. She and her husband still live with 11 children and grandchildren at home. Milqueya and her large family enjoy the benefits of the decisions she’s been helping her church make as a voting member. One important decision was the incorporation of the Healing Waters International water project.

In the past, even the least harmful water source wasn’t safe enough for Milqueya. She bought water from the trucks that drove past her home.

Miqueya paid only RD$20 for a 5-gallon water bottle, avoiding the RD$35 price at local stores. But the truck-bought water was making her and her family sick.

“The water caused us stomach diseases. But after we began to drink the water from the church, we are always healthy and we don’t have any stomach problems.”

After the Healing Waters International project began, the community’s health has improved. (more…)

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World Water Day 2009 is March 22

Today’s post is written by Dan Brown, Chief Marketing Officer for Healing Waters International.

World Water Day, March 22, was initiated by the United Nations in 1992 to help focus attention on the 1.1 billion people in the world who still lack safe drinking water.

World Water Day 2009

And for World Water Day 2009, we, Healing Waters, are celebrating our role in helping resolve this crisis by giving away free water at each of the water purification systems we’ve built with our local ministry partners. This event happens to coincide with a major ministry milestone for us – distributing 75 million gallons of safe drinking water to poor communities in developing countries.

Sustainability along with personal and community transformation are key components of our operational model. Over 110,000 people in poor, urban slums receive their daily drinking water from churches we partner with.

The churches have put nearly $500,000 back into their neighborhoods with community service funds and donated more than 3 million gallons to local schools. Every $50 donated to Healing Waters since we began seven years ago has provided life-giving water to another person.

While it took us 18 months to distribute our first million gallons of water and three years to deliver 10 million, we’re now distributing water at a rate of more than 1.6 million gallons a month.

With the addition of nine new systems this year, of which at least three will be at Compassion-assisted child development centers, we expect to deliver more than 2 million gallons per month by year end. (We currently operate 67 systems in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Mexico, 18 of which are at Compassion centers.)

“We are humbled to play a role in closing the gap on the world water crisis. We have become experts in our area of providing for the poor, urban communities of the developing world; but there is still so many more in need.” —  Ed Anderson, CEO of Healing Waters International.

Go to to learn more and donate.

healing waters international logo
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What is Healing Waters International?

The problem of contaminated drinking water is a serious one. 3.4 million people, mostly children, die from water-related diseases each year — that’s the equivalent of thirty-eight 777s crashing every day and killing everyone on board. — UNICEF/WHO, Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000

There are many organizations in this world building clean water delivery systems in rural areas of the developing world, but the need for safe drinking water in more developed communities gets overlooked.

Communities may have water infrastructures in place, but the water that is distributed is contaminated. Purified bottle water is available in local stores, but not everyone can afford the “luxury” of clean water. Healing Waters International, one of our business partners, is changing that.

Healing Waters International builds water purification systems at local churches in the developing world, and trains the church staff to operate the systems and manage the accounting. The churches then sell the water in their communities, typically for less than a quarter of the cost of store-bought water, and then sponsor community service projects with the revenue that remains.

healing waters international banner

Healings Waters International Mission Statement

To see safe water provided in the name of Jesus in every poor community of the world, Healing Waters International empowers local ministry partners to bring physical, social and spiritual transformation to poor communities by providing sustainable, safe water solutions.

What a remarkable mission!

Kind of sounds like ours, doesn’t it? 🙂

Join the Healing Waters International cause on Facebook.

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