Humanitarian 101: Clean Water

Providing Safe, Clean Water in the Toughest Places

By Amanda DeWitt

Humanitarian 101: Clean Water

Ask these women, and they will tell you — what they carry on their head is more than just a brightly colored bucket filled to the brim. Having a source of safe, clean water transforms their entire lives.

Shortages of clean water and lack of sanitation and hygiene programs create the most significant source of suffering on earth. Every year more people die from dirty water than from conflict and war.

The United Nations recently reported that one in three people do not have access to safe, clean water. And two in five people do not have a place where they can wash their hands with soap and water. Tragically, nearly 1,000 children die every day because of preventable waterborne diseases.

Together we can help people in tough places experience a whole new life through clean water and sanitation projects — relieving their suffering, restoring their dignity, and revealing the hope of Jesus.

Clean Water Wells

At Unto® our Water Program focuses on drilling deep water wells, repairing damaged wells, and training community leaders on well maintenance and repair. We want to ensure communities have safe, clean water for years to come.

Our water projects serve people in the toughest places — areas of the world that are physically difficult to reach due to challenging terrain or the remoteness of the location. We drill deep, often to 40 meters, and may have to try several times before hitting water.

Every new or repaired well serves a minimum of 500 people daily. And once the water starts flowing, the real changes start happening.

Children can spend their days at school with enough water for drinking and hygiene. Families in drought-ridden areas can plant productive gardens as well water provides irrigation for their crops, ensuring they have food to eat year-round. Women can take care of their families and serve in their communities instead of hauling heavy containers and walking for miles to find water in polluted ponds or streams, all the while being mindful of the threat of molestation on the path.

Water not only meets people’s physical needs — it allows our local staff teams to meet spiritual needs too. At every well-opening ceremony, relationships are built and the eternal hope of Jesus is shared. Newly drilled or repaired wells often become sites for new churches, and entire communities experience the transforming effects of Living Water, that comes through knowing Jesus.

Sanitation and Hygiene

To help strengthen communities Unto also provides access to clean water through water filters and training in proper handwashing, human waste disposal, and water treatment.

In some areas, a water well is not a viable option. People in these places often are forced to drink ground water than has been contaminated by waste and other pollution, making it unsafe for human consumption. For refugees, disaster victims, and rural families, water filtration provides a portable purification solution that turns gray, dirty water into a safe supply that can be used for drinking, cooking, and washing.

Training is another essential component of the water solution. Our local partners host seminars on proper handwashing and sanitation practices. This helps ensure the local water quality is maintained so that families are protected from waterborne illnesses and dangerous diseases. As our local partners serve their communities, they are able to reach new people groups and share the hope of Jesus with more families.

More Than Just Water

When you partner with Unto, you help give people in the toughest places more than just safe, clean water. You also:

  • Relieve their suffering — Clean water prevents deadly diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. It also supports healthy growth and development.
  • Restore their dignity — A nearby well protects women and children from walking for miles in search of water and hauling an average of 40 pounds of water every day. Children can attend school. And mothers can care for their families.
  • Reveal hope — Every time a new well is drilled, our staff teams build relationships and share the eternal hope of Jesus. New churches are often planted too.

Together we can make water scarcity a thing of the past for people in the toughest places. Every gift to the Unto Water Program will be doubled today to give families safe, clean water and share the hope of Jesus.

How will you help now?

Want to learn more about being a humanitarian?

People around the world experience suffering, and we wonder how to help change that. But the Bible assures us that God is constantly at work, drawing people to Himself, not in spite of disaster, conflict, and poverty, but even in and through those situations. Our Humanitarian 101: A 7-Day Devotional journal offers seven devotionals designed to help you consider suffering and how you can make a difference.

Humanitarian 101: A 7-Day Devotional

Published April 6, 2021


Amanda is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Gift for Leadership, Kindred Spirit, and Christianity Today publications. She holds a M.A. in Media and Communication from Dallas Theological Seminary.