What Does Dirty Water Really Look Like?

When we say that 25% of people in Rwanda don’t have access to clean water… meaning they drink dirty water on a daily basis, that can be hard to process. What does “dirty water” really mean? The picture above tells a true story – it’s a traditional water source. Rivers, streams, ponds, standing rain water, even puddles on the side of a road provide the only option for water in much of Rwanda and the world. This water is toxic – carrying disease and parasites. It’s full of bugs, scum and is shared by the village animals. And how is it used? Well – for anything and everything needed – drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing.

Imagine drinking this water. Imagine your children drinking this water. 

Surely, there must be another option, right? But, there is no tap water or garden hose where fresh water pours forth. There is no grocery store down the street selling gallons of clean water. There is no vending machine to dispense a bottle of Aquafina. There are no other options. It can be difficult to wrap our heads around a reality that is so starkly different than our own. But around the world, 663 million people don’t have access to clean, safe, drinking water.

To put the clean water crisis in perspective: diseases from dirty water kill 3.5 million people each year. That’s 2,300 children dying each day from drinking unsafe water. And countless others are living with illnesses that prevents children from getting an education and parents from improving livelihoods.

There is good news and there is hope. Because the clean water crisis is a global epidemic that’s entirely preventable. In Rwanda, there are aquifers of pure, potable water 360 feet underground. Locals who exist on subsistence farming lack the finances, equipment, and ability to access that water – and require assistance. 

You can help. We can work together! That’s why we’re hosting the Run For Rwanda. We want to shine a light on the clean water cause and raise funds to bring clean water to Rwanda. We’ve helped open 153 wells so far and there’s more work to be done. 

Commit to joining us (register here). Walk or run. Push children in strollers. Tell your neighbors and friends as a way to multiply your impact. Do this as a family… knowing your participation will ultimately serve families in Rwanda!