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News

Water Mission Projects Inspire Peace on World Water Day

Going one day without it is challenging. Going three days without it is life-threatening. Water is essential for life, yet, around the world water is scarce due to the environment or unsafe due to natural or human-related contaminants. For centuries, the lack of access to this life-giving resource has caused conflicts among communities and nations. As we celebrate World Water Day 2024 with its theme, “Water for Peace,” Water Mission joins the United Nations (UN) and others in the fight to end the global water crisis. 

According to the UN-Water Task Force, “More than 3 billion people worldwide depend on water that crosses national borders. Yet, out of 153 countries that share rivers, lakes, and aquifers with their neighbors, only 24 countries report having cooperation agreements for all their shared water.” 

Disasters and climate change complicate this situation even more. Just this past year, hundreds of thousands of people have lost access to safe water sources due to a historic number of extreme weather events and natural disasters.  

Climate change, natural disasters, water pollution, and increased population are key factors that create the global water crisis.

Father Aptullah, leader of the Samandağ Greek-Orthodox Church in Hatay, Turkey, understands this struggle all too well. Following the devastating earthquakes in Turkey last year, Father Aptullah’s community was suddenly left without any safe water resources.

“There was rain and mud everywhere. People had to stay in their cars. Our water infrastructure was damaged,” Father Aptullah shared. “Our water was contaminated with sewage. It was unsafe. We could not drink it or even brush our teeth with it.” 

In the face of this life-threatening trial, people became desperate to find water to survive.   

Upon hearing of the need, Water Mission responded quickly, sending a team to Turkey within days of the event.  

Water Mission Disaster Response Teams are prepared to deploy quickly to restore access to safe water in disaster-stricken areas.

With the aid of local partners, Water Mission installed a safe water system in the shadow of Father Aptuallah’s church, which was damaged in the earthquake. This brought peace to the community and made the church a central point of refuge, hope, and unity.  

Instead of immediately attending to their damaged building, the church chose to serve the community by becoming a host site for safe water and setting up a kitchen to serve earthquake victims.

“Thank you very much for installing this water purification system,” says Father Aptullah. “Now that we have safe water, we are able to give it away indiscriminately. Everyone—Christian, Muslim, Alevi, Armenian—can use this water for drinking and cooking. Water is life. 

For months following the disaster, the system blessed 4,000 people each day through drinking water and meals served at the church.  

Water builds peace. Yet, as we commemorate World Water Day 2024, we remember that 2 billion people around the world still lack access to safe water 

Will you consider giving the gift of lifesaving, peace-building safe water to those in need today?  

Give safe water

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