Clean Water Washes Away Sickness, Brings Hope

Saturdays are my grocery-shopping day. This week’s list includes chicken, milk, eggs, vegetables and more sparkling water.

I remember when I ran out of sparkling water earlier this week and felt disappointed that I wouldn’t have more for the rest of the week until I could get back to the store. How spoiled am I? How spoiled are we? Not only do we have clean tap water that comes to our house for drinking, bathing and washing clothes, but we also have fancy waters down the street at the store that we could get any time we wanted.

RS19232_BoliviaFavEdited-35-lprNot everyone is afforded this luxury (and it is considered a luxury for so many parts of the world.)

Think of 14-year-old Adalberto, who lives in the Dominican Republic. His community only had a well that didn’t provide water clean enough for bathing, until just a few years ago when they received a water system. This system provided water for bathing and cleaning, but it still was not clean enough to drink.

Even this sub-par water was a scarce resource. Families would line up as early as 4 a.m. to get access to the water.

Adalberto suffered from strong stomachaches due to parasites that provoked diarrhea and skin problems. His mother had to take him to the doctor where they prescribed him pills, but he would get sick soon after. His mother said that she dewormed him and his siblings every six months, but it wasn’t enough to help the constant stomach ache. The store-bought, bottled drinking water was too expensive for them to afford, and they ignored that the water they were drinking were causing those issues.

Adalberto washes his hands at his clean water faucet. This clean water has led to a healthier life for Aldalberto and his family.

Adalberto washes his hands at his clean water faucet. This clean water has led to a healthier life for Aldalberto and his family.

After an organization called Aguas de Unidad performed a test on the water, they found harmful microorganisms such as coliform bacteria. When the experts at Agua de Unidad explained the results to the community, they saw the urgency of installing a water purification system at the community. Via the generosity of private donors, Food for the Hungry provided the funds for the system, and the community led by their leaders provided the location for a building to place the machine. Community members received training about the importance of purified water consumption and the necessity of correct hygiene practices.

Adalberto’s health, and that of his family has drastically improved. He no longer has stomachaches and skin problems. The community understands how purified water and correct hygiene practices cause a positive impact on everyone’s health. Adalberto’s mom is part of the cascade groups and she’s trained by Aguas de Unidad and also transmits that education to others.

Programming like this makes clean water possible for people in countries across the world: a luxury we all forget is a luxury. You can help by clicking here.