Many people ask me (Danny) why we focus on clean water. Did you know that over 1,000,000 children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal disease that is directly related to drinking contaminated water? The other day I read in a local paper that in Bolivia alone 40 kids a day die from lack of access to safe drinking water. The real tragedy is that 90% of these deaths are easily preventable by simply improving water quality, hygiene, and sanitation.
Studies collected by the World Health Organization show that access to clean drinking water can reduce diarrhea by 19%, simple hand washing with soap can reduce diarrhea by 47%, and improved sanitation (disposal of waste in outhouses or bathrooms) can reduce diarrhea by 36%.
I feel that focusing on improving access to clean water, better hygiene, and sanitation is one of the best ways to immediately help families improve their health and well-being, and to help them care for and prepare their children for a brighter future. What better way to illustrate the spiritual promise of “living water” through Jesus Christ than with the physical gift of clean water to drink?
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:37-40
Even simple tasks like washing your hands after you go to the bathroom and before you prepare food or eat is difficult to teach and practice in households that do not have running water. To this end, we have designed the “Clean Water Station,” a simple steel tripod stand, that combines a place to filter water with a hand washing device commonly known as a “tippy-tap.” The tippy-tap is a simple foot-operated hands-free hand washing station that works without running water! With this simple solution and bit of training and encouragement families will see dramatic improvements in their health and well-being. We are making Clean Water Stations in our workshop using locally sourced materials for about $25.00 each. For only $75.00 you can provide a Clean Water Station with a water filter and tippy-tap for a family in Bolivia. We can help save the lives of these dozens of children needlessly dying right here in Bolivia every day. But to do so, we need your help to place literally thousands (or rather hundreds of thousands) Clean Water Stations throughout Bolivia. How many can you or your church help with?
Check out the Agua Yaku Facebook page to see a video of the Clean Water Station in action!
Many of you know that I (Danny) traveled to China last spring to begin designing and manufacturing a unique hollow-fiber membrane filter we are calling AquaSiv. The intention is to bring to market a better designed and less expensive water filter that can be used around the world to make clean water accessible to everyone. My Haitian/Chinese partners recently visited Bolivia where we continue to refine the concept and plans for manufacturing. We are currently testing prototypes. We hope to begin manufacturing by the end of the year and be on the market by early 2017. We will be announcing a Kickstarter campaign soon where you will be able to invest with us in helping take AquaSiv from just an idea to an actual product with the potential to save millions of lives around the world. In the meantime, please be praying for our plans and efforts.