If you prayed, volunteered your time, gave a gift, or supported Water Mission in other ways throughout the past year, then you helped us serve more than 400,000 people with safe water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions in 2018.
Together, we completed safe water projects in 150 communities and 13 countries. We provided desperately needed safe water to survivors of natural disasters; traveled to rural, isolated villages around the world to install sustainable safe water and sanitation systems; and helped refugees fleeing violence and persecution to start a new life.
We are so grateful for God’s blessings and your support this year. Before we turn the page on 2018, I wanted to personally share a few snapshots of what you helped accomplish as we continue fighting to end the global water crisis.
We served more than 50 communities in Puerto Rico, installing solar arrays with over 1,000 solar panels and 300 kilowatts of power to communities devastated by Hurricane Maria. As many of their existing water and sanitation systems remained intact but inoperable without electricity, we focused on providing immediate and sustainable power solutions to turn their water systems back on and reduce future dependency on the electrical grid. Over the course of the year, we were able to transition our focus from disaster relief to long-term sustainability in communities. And we’re not even close to finishing — we plan to work in at least 20 additional communities in 2019. [Read more about our work in Puerto Rico.]
On March 17, more than 4,000 of you gathered at our Charleston headquarters to walk in solidarity with the 2.1 billion people worldwide who lack access to safe water. In our 12th annual Walk for Water, participants re-created the long walk that so many women and children complete on a daily basis to obtain water. Our supporters joined together in a spirit of love and generosity, raising nearly $290,000 to provide safe water to those in need. [Get involved in this year’s Walk or find a Regional Walk near you.]
In June, George and I traveled to many of our Africa programs with a team of Water Mission friends and partners. We visited Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, and Tanzania, and it was encouraging to witness the results of the complex engineering work and community development expertise that our staff invest in each project. We had the chance to visit projects ranging from refugee settlements to hospitals, and I especially enjoyed seeing the ongoing success of communities that have had safe water solutions for several years. [Read about our memorable experience in Uganda.]
We expanded our work in refugee settlements and nearby communities in 2018, thanks to your support and our ongoing partnerships with UNICEF, UNHCR, and the Poul Due Jensen Foundation. This year, we increased our investment in Tanzania’s Nyarugusu settlement and neighboring communities, making significant progress on what will be the largest solar-powered pumping system used in refugee settlements.
In northern Uganda, we continued a multi-year initiative to provide safe water and sanitation to the country’s refugee settlements and host communities. Host communities are local, often under-developed communities nearby that can experience similar challenges as the settlements, such as inadequate food or safe water. Some communities also host refugees and integrate them into the village. Since beginning this work in 2015, we have successfully delivered safe water to more than 240,000 refugees and local residents in the region.
This year, we also began responding to the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh, as more than 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar in the last 18 months to escape genocide. We sent engineers to assess their needs and are currently collaborating with other organizations on the ground to swiftly provide safe water and sanitation solutions. [Read more about our work with refugees.]
2018 was an exciting year of growth for Water Mission, and we eagerly anticipate all that God will do through our organization next year. We can’t do it without you!
With your help, in 2019 we will provide the life-changing gift of safe water to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
Opportunities to support our work around the world.