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Why Water Filters Matter for People in the Toughest Places

By Amanda DeWitt

He clutches his cup of safe, clean water. The expression on his face says it all.

For him the water in his cup — purified by a water filter — means life-giving hydration so his body can grow strong and healthy. It also means protection from deadly waterborne diseases, stomach ailments, and skin conditions.

Because he lives in an area without a well or other clean water source, the simple bucket and water filtration system is his only option for safe, clean water. Not only does it provide enough water to fill even the biggest cup, and so much more, it might just save his life.

Water Filters Save Lives

Every 90 seconds a child dies of a preventable waterborne disease — illnesses that could be avoided with access to safe, clean water.

Globally one in four people lack access to clean drinking water. And if we do not act now, more than 1.6 billion people will still be left without clean water by 2030.

Families who do not have access to a clean water source are at higher risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio. Young children are especially vulnerable to these gastrointestinal diseases, experiencing more severe symptoms, dehydration, and even adverse developmental effects.

Healthcare facilities without clean water face higher rates of infection and disease as both patients and healthcare workers lack access to proper hydration and cannot take proper sanitation measures. School, orphanages, and other gathering places that lack proper handwashing facilities can quickly become places where germs and illnesses spread.

When there are no other options available, a water filter changes everything. Children can experience good health and development. Healthcare workers can properly care for their patients. School teachers can focus on educating the next generation.

Water filters save lives and ensure families and communities remain safe and healthy for years to come.

Not Just Any Water Filters

Take a look at the water filter pictured above. It does not look like the ones many of us use in our homes that must also be replaced several times a year.

These are not just any water filters. They are often used to protect children in schools and orphanages or to serve people in churches or medical clinics. They also provide clean water to families, refugees, and disaster victims. With proper care and cleaning, the filters can last five years, and sometimes up to 10.

Their high filtration capabilities protect people from harmful bacteria and parasites that cause deadly diseases, stomach ailments, and skin conditions. They take dirty, brown water and turn it into a clean, clear source of hydration.

In places where wells cannot be drilled — and where there are no other safe options available — water filters can transform the health and hygiene of entire families and communities. They can also help protect refugees and disaster victims as they seek to rebuild their lives. As physical needs are met, people also have the opportunity to hear about Jesus’ living water.

Never Thirsty Again

You probably know the Bible story about the woman at the well. She came to draw water from her local well at the hottest time of day. She carried not only a bucket, but also a heavy burden of pain and shame.

But then she met Jesus. And He promised her something remarkable.

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).

Is that not what every person desires most? We need our physical thirst satisfied each day. But even more we desperately long for our spiritual needs to be met too. The only thing that can truly quench the thirst within us is Jesus and the eternal life He gives.

Water filters help meet people’s physical needs for water. As our local staff teams build relationships with those they serve — teaching them to properly use and care for their new water filters — they also open up doors to share hope.

Local team members can talk about the woman at the well. They can discuss how all of us search for satisfaction physically and spiritually. And they can share how Jesus cares for our needs and wants to give people living water that never runs out.

Many people have experienced the kindness of Jesus through a water filter. They heard about His eternal hope and responded to His message. Ultimately, they found Jesus to be enough to satisfy their physical needs and deepest spiritual longings — and they have never been thirsty again.

Give the Gift of Clean Water

In the toughest places water filters are often people’s only option for safe, drinkable water. When a village does not have a well, water filters are the only solution for obtaining safe, clean water. In times of disaster or in places where extreme terrain and arid conditions make drilling wells impossible, water filters can save lives. 

This year Unto® plans to send 4,750 water filters to suffering families in 18 countries where clean water is critically needed. Every $6 you give now provides someone with clean water — and gives him or her the opportunity to hear about Jesus.

Learn More

Published September 30, 2021

Amanda

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.