sustainable living4 min read

From one community to another, giving back with charity: water

Charity Water community

WordsMegan Lambert

SCROLL

Access to clean drinking water is something that we take for granted. It’s difficult to imagine a life without it, yet over 1 in 10 people worldwide lack access to this basic need. Much more than simply turning on a tap, access to clean drinking water changes lives. That’s why we’ve decided to partner with charity: water. Find out more about our ongoing partnership and how improving your home can improve a life.

What does charity: water do?

Providing clean and safe drinking water to communities affected by the global water crisis, charity: water is a non-profit that works directly with local organizations to establish community-specific, locally-owned projects. From water-filtering programs to village water pumps, theirs is not a one-size-fits-all model. What’s more, their focus is on sustainable long-term solutions, ensuring that once a community receives clean water, they keep it. 

Why charity: water?

So far, charity: water has lifted over 15 million people out of water poverty. Not only does this change people’s lives, but it also has the power to improve communities as a whole. As a community, we wanted to work together to help transform other communities. The benefits of access to clean water are numerous, and they fall into these main pillars:

Improved health 

Better sanitation reduces the spread of waterborne diseases, which contribute to more deaths than war or famine, with 43% of these deaths occurring in children under the age of 5. It’s estimated that access to clean water could save 16,000 lives a week.

Education 

Less time spent collecting water means more time in school and better education, particularly for girls, whom it is estimated are responsible for collecting water in 8 out 10 families. In addition, access to proper flushing toilets and sanitation means that girls do not have to miss school each month during their period.

Supporting women

Women spend a combined 200 million hours a day collecting water. This is the equivalent of an estimated 77 million working days each year. Access to clean water gives women back their time. Time that can be spent earning a living or getting an education.

Economic opportunities

Access to water makes everything grow, including local economies. For the farming communities, better irrigation leads to improved crop production in agricultural areas, which means a healthier and more prosperous community.

Our commitment

As part of our commitment to give back as we grow, for every tin of paint you buy, we will donate the equivalent of 448 litres of clean drinking water—enough to sustain a household for 5 days.

Together with charity: water we'll be funding projects across the world over the upcoming years. And by the beginning of next year, we aim to donate enough clean drinking water to provide for entire communities in Madagascar and Cambodia. Below are the first two projects we will be funding.

The communities: finding a solution

Water storage tanks in Madagascar

According to charity: water’s indicators, Madagascar has one of the worst clean water records in the world. Almost half the population lack access to it, increasing to 64% of people in rural areas. A country affected by flooding and cyclones, as well as droughts, its weather patterns are becoming less and less predictable. In partnership with Great Madagascar, the solution is a piped water storage system with community taps. Water is pumped into a storage tank either by gravity or a solar-powered pump, where stored water flows into a network of pipes and into the community taps. In time, this system will give local people access to clean water year-round.

Charity: water community in Madagascar
Charity: water community in Madagascar

BioSand filters in Cambodia

Despite water being abundant in Cambodia, all too often it is not safe to drink, particularly in rural areas where almost 80% of the population lives. Many are forced to collect water from polluted water sources contaminated by human waste, bacteria, and viruses, resulting in illness and waterborne diseases. The solution? In partnership with Clear Cambodia, we aim to fund the installation of community BioSand filters. These filters reduce bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms in water by up to 99%, making it safe for human consumption.

Charity: water Cambodian community
Charity: water Cambodian community
Help