Plant a Garden and Keep It Watered

How a Clean Water Well Allows Families to Grow Nutritious Food

By Amanda DeWitt

Plant a garden

People are hungry and thirsty — and the two go hand-in-hand.

Experts estimated that 2.2 billion people do not have adequate access to safe drinking water. By 2025 up to half the world may live in water-stressed areas. Additionally, as many 811 million people go to bed without adequate nutrition each night.

With the global food crisis looming, sustainable solutions to hunger are needed now more than ever. One of the best ways we can relieve suffering for families around the world is by providing them with safe, clean water so they can also grow their own food for nutrition and income.

Increased Crop Production

Helping to end the life-threatening hunger and thirst so many people face starts by supplying them with an adequate source of safe, clean water. The World Bank reported:

Water is a critical input for agricultural production and plays an important role in food security. Irrigated agriculture represents 20 percent of the total cultivated land and contributes 40 percent of the total food produced worldwide. Irrigated agriculture is, on average, at least twice as productive per unit of land as rainfed agriculture, thereby allowing for more production intensification and crop diversification.

At Unto® we work with local Cru® staff teams serving in developing communities to help provide sustainable solutions to the water and food shortages experienced by millions . When communities lack an adequate water source, we help local staff teams drill deep water wells, or repair broken wells, that provide safe, clean water for at least 500 people.

The clean water is used for drinking, cooking, and hygiene. It also allows communities to keep gardens watered, making them more productive.

Sustainable Food and Income

An adequate water source expands a community’s economic potential. It provides them with ways to earn income and build a brighter future.

Through agricultural training and bucket drip irrigation kits, we help provide individuals, families, and schools with the tools they need to grow food for nutrition and livelihood. A school garden provides children with a place to learn valuable life skills. They discover what grows well in their climate and how to properly water, nourish, and harvest crops.

Individuals and families who plant gardens also have a way to feed their children and gain income from the sale of excess produce. This gives them the resources they need to provide for additional basic needs such as clothing, shoes, hygiene supplies, school fees, and other essential items.

The World Food Program states,

Food and water are inseparably linked in the fight to end global hunger. An adequate supply of water is essential for growing the crops that feed the planet and increasing household incomes among the hundreds of millions of hungry people whose livelihoods are based on small-scale agriculture.

Protection from Deadly Diseases

Did you know that deadly diseases are transmitted not only through water but also through food?

The Center for Disease Control reports, “People who consume fruit or vegetables that were exposed to contaminated water are at risk of developing a foodborne illness.”

Not only can drinking dirty water expose people to a host of deadly waterborne diseases, but watering crops with dirty water can also increase exposure to deadly pathogens. People need safe, clean water to ensure their food supply stays healthy.

The reverse problem can also occur. Without proper farming methods, agricultural runoff can contaminate local water supplies. That is why it is essential for communities to receive access to both clean water and proper training. When paired together children, their families, and entire villages can remain strong and health for years to come.

You Can Provide Safe, Clean Water for Families

Water impacts every aspect of life. All of us need it for drinking, cooking, hygiene, and more. But water also does something else — drilling a new well, or repairing a broken one, is one of the most effective ways for local Unto staff teams to serve suffering people, build relationships, and share about the eternal hope of Jesus. You can help provide safe, clean water for families and help transform entire communities by relieving their suffering, restoring their dignity, and revealing hope!

Published July 28, 2022


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.