Eradicating Water Poverty in Central African Republic


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Water for Good began with a mission to drill wells and provide water solutions to remote villages in this war-torn nation of 4.6 million people. Almost 20 years later, the nonprofit organization has created an exemplary legacy on sustainable social change.

In this World Water Day we want to highlight the work of Water for Good. We spoke with CEO Jon Allen on water as a human right and the incredible impact its organization has leading in CAR.

Jim Hocking grew up with his missionary family in Central African Republic, one of the poorest countries in Africa with about to 66 % of its population living under poverty line.

After studying a college degree in the United States, he returned back to live with his wife and children to the country to train leaders for youth ministry and lead literacy programs.

But political instability and the 2003 coup d’etat led Jim and his family to change the course of their mission, understanding the importance of safe drinking water and local leadership instead of Western participation for an organizational model to be sustainable, they began Water for Good.

Over the years the nonprofit has focused on more than 800 water projects and maintenance programs, positively changing the lives of around 500 people close to each water point.

“We are working towards universal coverage in the world water sector”, CEO Jon Allen said.

Allen explained insecurity and violent attacks in the country, where ex-Seleka and anti-balaka militias and other groups control about two-thirds of the territory, has not stopped the programs to eradicate water poverty specifically in Mambere Kadei, the focus region of Water for Good.

The organization uses the term “water poverty” instead of the word “crisis” to emphasize on the lack of access to water.

There are roughly 780 million people without access to clean water in the world and countries like CAR and many others in the region, are rich in aquifers but lack the technology and equipment on how to safely attain it, maintain and distribute it. access it and distribute it.

Due to water poverty, “you are falling short on what’s a universal right”. It is affecting “child mortality rates, educational access, water for the family, or even for women who are looking to bring economic impact to their local community”, Allen said.

While the COVID-19 pandemic media coverage is focusing on preventive measures reminding people to wash their hands frequently and clean surfaces, World Water Day in 2020 seeks to highlight the importance of universal access to safe-drinking water and sanitation, #6 Sustainable Development Goal for 2030.

In terms of a message to commemorate this day at this critical moment in time, Allen emphasized that “health should be a priority issue. How is it impacting the western world now or the developing world, Covid19 does impact different countries, not having clean water is only going to complicate the issues to overcome it”.

He added “it is a reminder of how fortunate we are in our daily life, if you look like at the needs at a place like CAR, they are not thinking how to eradicate the disease but how to endure it”.

Water for Good plans to continue addressing the needs in Mambere Kadei and besides donations, it has put in place a monthly giving membership called Rainmakers to make it easier for supporters to see regularly which water projects they are helping create, maintain and monitor.

 

You can learn more about Water for Good here: http://www.waterforgood.org

Photo Credit: Water for Good

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