Everything! Water means...
The most important change when providing people in need with clean water is of course that it minimizes their risk of dying; you give life. Up to 25 children die every day from health issues originating from absence of accessible, clean, drinking water.
If you have never experienced clean water the necessity to uphold adequate sanitation and cleanliness is both hard as well as less essential. When proving water it is thus important to also train people in how to handle the water in a safe manner, not contaminating it with for example dirty vessels or through poor personal hygiene.
Currently every third person in the world live without access to a toilet. Lack of adequate sanitation facilities is affecting four times as many people as those lacking access to clean drinking water (2.4 billion compared to 663 million). The link between the two issue is however very immediate. A common remark from people receiving accessible water is how it allows them to keep clean – a very human need that instantaneously improves a person’s sense of dignity and self-worth. Not least for women and girls around menstruation, access to water and safe sanitation facilities are vital.
Women and children all over the world spend hours every day fetching water. It is not uncommon with 6-7 km to the closest water source and many times the water it offers isn’t even clean.
By providing a community with a water point in the vicinity of where people live allow these woman and children to spend their time on other things. The children, both girls and boys, can secure a better future by learning how to read and write. Women can devote their day to other means of providing for their families, finding work that give their household an additional income. In essence, giving water is about giving life opportunities that in the end help transform entire communities and change societal structures.
Long walks in harsh environments are not safe. Women and children risk animal attacks as well as sexual assaults from men. The strain on their bodies from carrying heavy containers (often 20 kg each) over long distances is as well a serious health issue which accessible water eliminates.