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Women and girls are the water carriers of the developing world. They spend hours every day walking back and forth to the nearest pond, lake, stream, river, or other often questionable source to meet their family's urgent water needs.
Try carrying a basin or pail of water for only 200 or 300 metres. It's exhausting! Many African and Haitian women must transport water several kilometers each day. Doing it over and over again -- year after year -- often leads to potentially lifelong neck and back problems.
And sadly, all that water these women are carrying may be contaminated with potentially deadly pathogens. Someone -- usually a child -- is dying every 20 seconds in the developing world from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water and inadequate hygiene.
Each time Lifewater donors drill another well, they dramatically shorten the distance hundreds of women must walk for water each day -- giving them more time to care for their families, to earn an income, to study, or other equally worthwhile activities. Each well also ensures that women and their families are drinking safe water that will help them prosper.
We offer these photos to honor the women in them. They are truly courageous people. We hope you agree.