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Countless lives in developing countries are lost due to unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation. About 780 million people are forced to use disease-filled water for drinking and cooking. About 1.6 million die every year from preventable, water-related diseases. Sadly, children are the most vulnerable, making up more than half of those deaths. Learn more about the problem.
We focus our work there because these countries have less access to safe water than most countries, because their governments have limited capacity to respond to this need, and because there is a general lack of required equipment and trained workers. In addition, groundwater is readily accessible at low cost, resulting in high project success rates and maximum impact for every dollar invested. Read more about the places we work.
Donors in Canada, the U.S., and Europe sponsor water projects to keep them affordable for the local villages that contribute a token amount of money plus "sweat equity." We rely on in-country teams that we have trained and equipped to drill wells and repair broken pumps. The teams also train and equip local Well Caretakers, and host Health and Hygiene workshops to enable villagers to prevent water-related diseases. Read more about our strategy.
Lifewater is guided by four key Development Goals:
1. Meet basic water availability service levels
2. Provide safe, drinkable water
3. Actively engage communities
4. Plan for long-term maintenance
The first two goals focus on ensuring that people have a maximum 30-minute round-trip to gather safe water that is available year-round.
The second two goals relate to community ownership of water projects and their commitment to long-term maintenance of these projects.
Click on each of the four Development Goals in the chart below to learn more about its significance and scoring. Also read stories explaining why we adopted the goal and its strategic importance.
Each goal also has several operational targets, or specific, measurable deliverables for Lifewater Canada's projects. Each target provides direct benefits in one or more of the following areas: Community Health, Gender Equality, Project Sustainability, and Affordability.
|Development Goals & Operational Targets||Health||Gender Equality||Sustain-ability||Afford-ability|
|a) Year-round water availability||√|
|b) More than 90% of users within 1 kilometre||√||√|
|c) 150 to 600 people using each pump||√||√|
|2) Goal: Provide Safe, Drinkable Water|
|a) Water free of pathogenic bacteria||√|
|b) Nitrate and nitrite levels = to Canadian limits||√|
|c) No turbity or objectionable taste/odour||√|
|3) Goal: Actively Engage Communities|
|a) Health & hygiene training||√||√|
|b) Community involved in picking well site||√|
|c) Community project contributions||√||√|
|d) Facilities built on community land||√|
|e) Dedication celebration (+ deed transfer in Liberia)||√|
|4) Goal: Plan for Long-term Maintenance|
|a) Strive for >1 community water source||√|
|b) Clear maintenance Plan||√||√|
|c) Trained project technician and well caretaker||√|