Water: Carrying the Burden Part 1

Imagine Your Day Revolving Around Water Collection

By Lara Strain

Water: Carrying the Burden - Woman Carting Water Containers

Our lives overflow with busyness. We focus time and attention on our work, fun activities, and our hobbies. This list of pursuits doesn’t include gathering water. However, millions of people, mostly women and children, spend countless hours collecting water for their families.

How Much Water Do We Need?

Basic daily water requirements per person are surprisingly minimal. According to the World Health Organization:

  • A mere 2 gallons is the minimum water necessary for survival.
  • Less than 5.5 gallons is required for basic body and food hygiene.
  • Just over 13 gallons is needed if you desire clean clothes and a more proper bath.

Where Does the Time Go?

Collectively, women and children spend 200 million hours each year fetching water for their families. Wow! These are hours children miss from school, hours women could otherwise spend tending a garden or working on an income-producing trade. These are hours often lost to a labor-intensive, 4-mile daily walk carrying an average of 44 pounds on the return trip home.

Water: Carrying the Burden - Children Carrying Water Buckets

By making clean water available through water wells and filters, not only are communities physically healthier, but women and children become free from this time-consuming burden they carry daily.

Shortages of safe, clean water and lack of sanitation and hygiene programs create the most significant source of suffering on earth. The field teams at Unto® work with community leadership in areas of need to develop and carry out clean water and sanitation projects. We accomplish our mission, in partnership with international Cru® teams, through food and agriculture, clean water, and critical aid. Our partners at Cru work in more than 191 countries in the world.

Clean water projects with Unto advance the hope of Jesus through humanitarian kindness, which helps our partners gain access, build credibility, and increase effectiveness of ministry.

We are thankful for God’s provision last year through partners like you that made it possible for Unto teams to provide clean water to more than 31,000 people. When you fill your glass with a drink of clear, clean water, say a prayer for those who still need this valuable resource.

Think About It

Consider carrying 44 pounds of water several miles, or even just 100 yards. What else weighs 44 pounds? Pick up a 3-year-old child or your medium-size dog and imagine carrying that weight while walking 4 miles.

Better yet fill a 5-gallon bucket with water and carry it down your street to experience what it is like to haul the kind of load carried by many women and children throughout the world.

Published July 21, 2017

Lara Strain has served as the Communications team lead for Unto. She has been an Unto staff member since June 2015.