Lifewater Child

The Impact of your Investment in Compassionate Relief

Lifewater Canada actively strives to provide evidence-based insights about how your donations impact children and families. We hope this transparency will give you the confidence to continue making a meaningful difference by giving health and hope to those who need it most.

Top-10 Canadian Impact Charity

Lifewater is ranked as one of Canada’s top-10 impact charities. Every $1 donated to Lifewater has a social impact return of 7 times —well above the average return of 1-2 times on the dollar. READ MORE about Charity Intelligence’s rigorous, independent analysis.

Combatting Covid-19

The COVID pandemic has shown that neighbours are not just those living beside us. We cannot disconnect ourselves from the plight of women and girls who can't socially distance as they draw water from crowded pumps; and we cannot ignore children who can’t frequently wash their hands because water takes so much time to fetch.

Lifewater Canada’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak began in early March, 2020. Work includes distributing masks, sharing hygiene information, providing disinfectant solution, and building hand washing stations at African orphanages, clinics, and schools. Work carries on to repair broken pumps and build new drinking water sources to reduce crowding at existing water points. READ MORE about Lifewater’s frontline work combating COVID-19.

Safe Drinking Water for almost 1 Million People!

Since Lifewater began in 1997, we have completed 1,916 water projects in sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti. Using a long-term, conservative average of 500 beneficiaries per project, that adds up to safe drinking water for 958,000 people.

During the 2019/2020 fiscal year, Lifewater teams drilled 93 wells and built 17 water catchment systems, counting an average of 765 beneficiaries per water supply. In just one year, 84,000 men, women, and children were supplied with abundant, local supplies of safe drinking water.

In fiscal 2020/2021, well production is up by 30% and the number of tank projects has more than doubled!

Promote Gender Equality & Education for Girls

In many countries, women are socially responsible for fetching safe drinking water. Traditionally, girls help their mothers with this domestic chore. Pictures of young girls gracefully walking with a pail of water on their heads don't effectively portray how unbelievably exhausting it is to carry a 40-pound pail of water from source to home.

Hauling water also takes a lot of time. Unicef estimates that women and girls spend 200 million hours EVERY DAY collecting water! Surveys by Lifewater volunteers in the past year found that women and girls spent 30-120 minutes per day hauling water. Fetching water before and after school means that girls do not have the same time and energy to perform as well in school as boys.

Finally, children cannot perform well when they are sick. A 2006 UN study ffound that children lose 443 million school days every year because of water related illnesses!

Providing a nearby supply of safe drinking water enables girls to pursue education instead of spending exhausting hours hauling water for their families. Interviews conducted in Nov. 2019 by Lifewater volunteers with three Liberian Principals revealed that more girls attended and excelled in school after wells were drilled nearby.

Improve Health for Children and their Families

Unsafe drinking water makes people sick, and children under the age of 5 are especially vulnerable. Over half a million children die every year from diarrhea, often caused by unsafe drinking-water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.

Lifewater Canada is committed to tackling this challenge by training and equipping people in developing countries to provide their communities with safe drinking water. Project sponsorships save children’s lives and increase educational opportunities for girls. You can help build a well in Africa or Haiti.

Efforts are being made to collect verifiable health data that can be correlated to the impact of water projects. In the meantime, it is clear through observation and conversation with local people that provision of hygiene education and safe drinking water improves peoples lives.

For example, when Haiti was hit by a major cholera epidemic after the 2010 earthquake, Lifewater volunteers noticed there were fewer incidents of cholera in areas where wells were not far apart. This observation aligns with findings that water use for good hygiene is optimized where there are safe drinking water supplies within 1 km.

According to the World Health Organization, 50% of the developing world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from water-related diseases. Doctors working in many different countries have told Lifewater volunteers similar stories: the number of clinic admissions for diarrhea drops dramatically after wells are drilled in the area.

Villages write to us about the positive impact that Lifewater projects have on their families and communities. READ letters here

Help the Rural Poor Save Money

For every $1 invested in safe drinking water, the World Health Organization estimates returns of $3-34! This strong return rate is due to reduced health care costs for individuals and society, and greater productivity and involvement in the workplace through better access to facilities.

During 2019/2020 project surveys, Lifewater workers and volunteers found evidence of this leveraged return. For example, in 23% of urban projects, families previously spent $1 - $3 USD per day buying bagged or bulk drinking water. With the provision of safe water in their communities, these families now pay just $1 per month towards the maintenance of the handpump. The money saved can now cover school fees, purchase seed for gardens, and other pressing needs.

Teach a Man to Fish…..

There is a well-known African proverb: “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach him to fish, feed him for life.” Lifewater makes a lasting difference by working through local people, training and equipping drillers, establishing local boards of Directors, and building the capacity of Project Managers.

We recognize that long-term support is vital to sustainably provide safe drinking water. This past year, three dozen volunteers paid their own way to help train and equip local workers in Liberia, Haiti, and Kenya. They helped improve facilities, repair equipment, provide advanced training and audit projects.

Keep Projects Working Long-Term

Thousands of wells around the world sit unused because their pumps are broken. In the past, we told supporters that pumps work for 6-18 months before needing repair. However, our 2019/2020 audit of projects in Liberia found that Lifewater pumps typically work for 2 years before needing repair (the range was 1 – 151 months). The message is still the same: if organizations do not follow-up completed projects and help communities repair pumps, wells will only last a little while before breaking down.

When a pump stops working, the health benefits of the well disappear, and women and girls again bear the burden of fetching water from more distant sources. For example, broken pumps in Haiti sat for an average of 15 weeks this past year because there was a lack of locally affordable parts, initiative, or knowledge. During this time, girls had to spend an extra 6 hours per week fetching water from neighbouring wells – time and energy not available for schooling.

In comparison, pumps in Liberia sat broken for an average of 8 weeks. That is less time than in Haiti, but the situation is more dire since the alternate supply is usually a stagnant swamp, a shallow dug well with limited water, or a muddy creek used for watering animals, doing laundry, and even toileting!

Lifewater Canada remains committed to project follow-up and maintenance. We strive to make projects sustainable by keeping them affordable rather than free, encouraging volunteerism, and maintaining a long-term local presence to help communities keep their pumps and water systems working.

Over the past 4 years, Lifewater workers have worked with villagers to repair 2,132 broken pumps. Lifewater also replaced 259 pumps which were broken beyond repair.

Each pump repair is unbelievably significant. Lifewater project audits show that each repaired pump saves every woman or girl who fetches water an average of 1 million steps per year! For any of us who have tried to walk 10,000 steps per day, we know what a huge effort that is… without having a heavy bucket of water balanced on our heads!

Every Dollar Makes a Life-Saving Difference!

Lifewater was founded on the belief that all lives are created equal, and we are passionately driven to save as many lives as possible. To do this, Lifewater is structured to minimize overhead and maximize impact. Every donated dollar provides someone with safe drinking water for a year.

Emotionally Connect & Impact Donors!

We know donors are emotionally impacted by being connected to beneficiaries. So all projects are posted online and every donation is matched to a specific project to help personally impact donors.

We invite you to see for yourself the impact that your donations made in peoples lives! 

Every $1 you give provides a child with safe water for a year!

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Thunder Bay, ON P7E 5L1

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