How Are Clean Water and Sanitation Related?
Clean water and sanitation are related because at least two billion people worldwide use water contaminated by feces. In the poorest regions of the world, there is no proper running water infrastructure separated from sanitation systems. The only water source available to them might be a pond or river, and if there is not a sanitation system in place to collect and properly dispose of feces, then it’s often inevitable that the two will mix.
According to the Brookings Institution, “Most of the world’s poorest live in rural areas. Roughly two out of three people living in extreme poverty live in rural settings. In total, some 400 million rural men and women live in extreme poverty, more than the populations of the United States and Canada combined. At the same time, roughly half that amount (approximately 200 million) live in cities.”
In rural settings, you also have livestock and other animals that are not contained or monitored for their defecation. This adds to the problem of water being dirtied by feces, which in turn leads to waterborne diseases and ongoing health issues. These areas need a solution for their water needs that can bypass this issue.
That’s where GFA World’s Jesus Well can be a literal life-saver. GFA looks for solutions that benefit everyone, and the Jesus Well does that. Jesus Wells are installed using local drillers in order to keep costs down, and the church where a well is dug commits to maintaining the well.
Jesus Wells are dug as deep as needed to provide fresh water year-round, even in times of drought. This enables people to access clean, safe water not easily contaminated by debris, flood waters, feces, industrial byproducts, etc. Each well also comes with a powerful message on a plaque from John 4:13-14:
“Jesus answered and said to her: ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’”
The well’s hand pump is durable, designed through joint efforts of several world service organizations. Although its rubber seals will need to be replaced about every four years, the pump is intended to operate 20 million cycles before requiring mechanical repair.
 “Drinking-water.” World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water. March 21, 2022.
 Kharas, Homi; Di Nucci, Constanza; Hamel, Kristofer; and Tong, Baldwin. “To move the needle on ending extreme poverty, focus on rural areas.” https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2020/02/21/to-move-the-needle-on-ending-extreme-poverty-focus-on-rural-areas. February 21, 2020.