Water is the source of life — but when not properly managed, it can breed disease, create conflict and destroy communities. Around the world, one in nine people does not have access to the clean water they need — that's nearly 800 million people.
Mercy Corps works to increase access to safe water around the world, whether it's bringing relief during droughts or rebuilding wells in remote villages. Our large-scale water infrastructure projects in Jordan and the Democratic Republic of Congo are forging new delivery routes, reducing waste, and bringing clean water directly to 1.25 million people — and counting — who are affected by conflict in those areas.
To complement our water access programs, we also improve sanitation and help people learn proper hygiene to prevent disease; work with families and farmers to implement conservation techniques; and strengthen communities against flooding.
All stories about Water
Kenya: Checking in on our team in northeastern Kenya
Ethiopia: Planning ahead saves lives in Ethiopia
Though it’s only been in the headlines in the United Kingdom and United States for the past few weeks, Mercy Corps’ team in Ethiopia saw the crisis that’s gripping East Africa coming months ago.
Kenya: Water delivery to five drought-parched Kenyan villages
Kenya: Lifesaving relief for families in northeastern Kenya
“People here are falling down in masses ... it will be too late to do anything if we don't act now,” our emergency response leader in northeastern Kenya just told me on a phone call.
Indonesia: Joining the fanfare: a visit to the RW Siaga Plus+ program
I found myself being swept along with the wave of elementary students marching in the streets. Although at first I didn’t know the words to the song they were singing, I soon learned and sang along.
Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya: Situation worsens in the Horn of Africa, our response increases
Today, the United Nations officially declared a famine in parts of Somalia. What does this alarming news mean? Technically, it refers to conditions that include 30 percent acute malnutrition among the population of a specific place.
Kenya: Chronicles of a "drought widow"
One of the saddest things about the current drought in the Horn of Africa is that it’s destroying families. Men go off with livestock to find water — often traveling hundreds of miles for months at a time — or they drop out of pastoral life and flow into towns to look for odd jobs.
Kenya: Ten-year-old Hindiya Roble outside of Hadado, Kenya
Hindiya Roble, 10, and her family have been walking for 17 days in search of water.
Kenya: Walking for 17 days
Ethiopia: Meeting drought-stricken families' urgent needs in Ethiopia
Even before the current Horn of Africa drought reached its acute stage over the last several days, Mercy Corps was already hard at work on drought response activities throughout the region. So far, the majority of our drought-related activities have been in Ethiopia.