Imagine if you lived in a community with no water. Or if you do have access to water, imagine it’s unsafe to drink and you have to walk several miles every day to collect it.

This is the reality for millions of men, women and children around the globe.

The world water crisis is one of the most significant public health issues of our time. Did you know?

  • Every 90 seconds, a child dies of a water-related illness
  • 1/3 of the Earth’s population lives in “water-stressed” regions with that number expected to rise dramatically over the next two decades
  • Every day, women and girls in developing countries miss work and school to walk for miles to collect water for their families

This World Water Day, we’re focusing on the many countries that still face a water, sanitation and hygiene crisis and how we can prepare for future water issues. Not only does access to clean water bring better health, it also has positive economic, environmental and social impact.

FFE Tanzania Handwashing

Here at PCI, we understand that increasing access to cost-effective and sustainable water and sanitation services is essential to helping families and communities thrive.

Clean water services are vital to any community – for people to drink, as well as to sustain and nourish crops in their gardens, and on their farms. By partnering with local communities, we’re helping to provide access to clean water for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing and irrigation.

FFE Guatemala

Through our USDA-funded Food for Education programs in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Tanzania, we’re helping to promote hygiene and nutrition practices and creating real and lasting behavior change, as well as ensuring access to clean water in participating schools.

FFE Guatemala handwashing girls

We’re also helping communities develop sustainable water systems. This includes digging wells, building latrines, constructing safe water and sewage systems.

Our USAID-funded Njira project in Malawi provides hygiene training with a mother-to-mother health education strategy called the Care Group (CG) methodology. The training covers almost all aspects of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) including water treatment, personal and food hygiene, and environmental sanitation.

Clean water action is crucial when disaster strikes a community. Worsening drought in countries like Ethiopia and Malawi means that vulnerable families are at greater risk of becoming food insecure and more susceptible to dehydration and waterborne disease.

WASH Ethiopia

At a critical time when drought is making traditional methods of finding pasture increasingly unreliable, our USAID and Google-funded Satellite Assisted Pastoral Resource Management (SAPARM) project in Ethiopia and Tanzania helps pastoralists find greener pastures to keep their livestock alive.

SAPARM fills a critical information gap by providing real-time information to pastoralists who rely on accurate reports of grazing conditions to successfully raise livestock in support of their families and communities.

SAPARM Ethiopia Pastoralist

What can we do about the global water crisis together? We can walk.

Join us as we Walk for Water to raise awareness about the global water crisis and funds to support PCI’s programs around the world. Participants can experience the long journey for water by carrying buckets on a 5K route along the shores of Mission Bay.

When: Sunday, April 24, 2016
Where: Tecolote Shores Park at Mission Bay, San Diego, California

WE Ethiopia handwashing

Can’t walk with us? Join us in spirit by registering for the Virtual Walk.

  • Choose a route in your own community!
  • The virtual walk means that even if you cannot attend the Walk for Water, you can still participate. With a minimum $25 donation, PCI will mail you the official T-shirt.
  • Show your support on social media! Tag us with a selfie, from YOUR virtual Walk for Water! Don’t forget to use #WalkforWater and @PCIGlobal when posting your photo.

PCI will also Walk for Water in London’s Hyde Park on Sunday, May 15, 2016.

And here’s another fun way to make a difference! SUJA Juice will donate $10 for every photo uploaded through the Fotition app that shows you lifting something that’s 40 pounds.

Here’s how it works:

1) Go to the Fotition App Store on your iPhone
2) Download the Fotition App
3) Open the App and register (it only takes a few seconds)
4) Go to PCI’s Walk for Water Campaign—“We Can All Help Lift the Weight”
5) Take a Selfie, or Fote, holding up an item that’s around 40 pounds
6) And then share!

The three most creative fotes will each win a FREE case of Suja. Learn more here: fotition.com/c/walk-for-water

Together, we can support these vulnerable communities and help break the cycle of poverty. Show your support for World Water Day and make a donation today!