The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: Water Purifying Projects In Developing Countries

Worldwide, there are 780 million people who do not have access to clean drinking water. To tackle this problem, a lot of non-profit organisations are working to develop water projects to produce clean water for several communities. However, despite their successes and good intentions, there are still some issues surrounding these projects.

The Good

Limited access to clean water sources results in health problems. Every year, almost a million people die in Africa because of water-related illnesses. In response to this social problem, many non-government organisations (NGOs) and non-profit companies implement water projects in developing countries like Ethiopia, where individuals can volunteer to help provide safe water sources. Volunteers literally save the lives of individuals by providing safe and efficient water sources and teaching them to be healthier. Sustainable water projects also prevent the spread of illnesses caused by bacteria in unsafe drinking water, and decrease the number of preventable deaths in these countries. Moreover, clean water affects the livelihood of these communities, as it leads to healthier crops and products, meaning higher revenue and more business opportunities.

The Bad

Since the rise of efforts to provide safe drinking water, a lot of volunteering programmes have emerged. While many of them have good intentions, there are also some that take advantage of the situation. Most NGOs and non-profit companies use all their funds to achieve the goal of the project. In the past, however, some organisations have been questioned and investigated about how they use the funds they have collected, and whether the intended beneficiaries have received what they were promised.

Reputable water providers are transparent about how they install water systems in communities abroad. They provide specific information and report the milestones they have achieved in their projects. Responsible water purification systems should be the goal, so that all efforts of people involved will not be meaningless, and a positive impact is had on communities.

The Ugly

Another effect of not having access to drinking water is the proliferation of single-use plastic bottles. Many individuals in developing countries do not drink tap water. Instead, they buy mineral or purified water in plastic packaging. One of the reasons for this is that water treatment technologies they can use at home are expensive. A campaign to reduce the use of plastic bottles among the public is on-going. Rather than using disposable containers, individuals are educated and encouraged to use stainless water bottles that will not contribute to the pollution in the environment, and projects are encouraged to equip communities with the tools they need to collect water using sustainable tools.

The vast majority of water projects have true aid at their heart, but even if the goal of a project is noble, there are some organisations that will use the situation to gain something. Do the necessary research before funding an organisation, in order to ensure that you’re supporting a cause that will really help communities access clean drinking water for a lifetime.

By Jess Walters

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