Empowering people to build their future with water

“Any society with the guarantee of safe water has a chance to realize its full potential.”

Gary White, CEO & Co-founder of Water.org

We at Solinas have often spoken about the importance of safe drinking water for people. We have explored various initiatives such as non-revenue water reduction, government schemes, technology solutions, and our pipeline inspection robots.  This time let’s take a look into something different working at a global level – the Water credit. It’s a simple but very impactful community-led social initiative by water.org.

Water.org is a global non-profit organization with a vision to provide safe and accessible water and sanitation facilities. They help people overcome the restrictions to these basic needs through affordable financing. Water.org believes that water helps people to break away from poverty and build a promising future.

Water is something that is taken for granted when it is available in plenty. But millions of people across the world are struggling to get even the least water for their daily use. In some cases, they do not even have toilets in their homes or even in their neighborhoods! Currently, 1 out of 10 people do not have access to safe drinking water and 1 in 4 people do not have access to a toilet.

The idea for Water Credit started when Gary White the founder of water.org visited India. He realized that millions of families spend large portions of their income on water and sanitation needs. What was distressing is that this spending is for short-term use of buying water for daily use. This in turn caused many women to get trapped in mounting debts from loan sharks. Many financial institutions in India and other developing countries do not have loans for water and sanitation needs. 

Additionally, this issue has a severe impact on the health and education of women and children across communities. Access to water and sanitation can unlock Education, Wealth, Social progress, and Health for Millions of women and children. 

Let’s take a look at the numbers that define the scale of the problem.

Data Source – water.org

Water.org believes that people would prefer affordable financing for their basic water needs if given the chance. This would be a better option rather than struggling and spending daily for each litre.

These factors together led to the birth of Water Credit. This initiative enables small and affordable loans for building water connections and toilets. Water.org partners with microfinance institutions, governments, communities, and consultants, to implement it. This initiative empowers people to build their taps and toilets through affordable loans. The repaid loan money is then lent as a loan to another household in need of water and sanitation. Hence people build their facilities and get to help others attain the same benefits.

Source – water.org

The pilot project in India and Bangladesh was a great success and this led to the global implementation of Water Credit. In more than 15 years, 60 Million people across 11 countries now have proper water and sanitation access to their homes. 

Data Source – water.org

This remarkable initiative is an example of how people can overcome obstacles to their water and sanitation facilities –  with the right financial support and community effort. This self-sustaining model gives people the power to build their basic livelihood needs by themselves. It also enables them to help other people get the same opportunity. A simple and solid solution like this when done right can become massive and create positive impacts across the world!

Images and data from – https://water.org/

References:

https://water.org/solutions/watercredit/

https://water.org/about-us/

https://water.org/about-us/founders-board-team/gary-white/

https://water.org/about-us/why-water/

https://water.org/our-impact/