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.
Ethiopia: Rebuilding a community water source
Emergency response program manager Kaja Wislinska speaks to community members who are repairing a pond too damaged to hold water. It is now a working water source for the 400 households in Ada Olaa village.
Nepal: Protecting natural resources
Villagers in southwestern Nepal gather to tell Mercy Corps staff about their needs and how they make use of their surrounding environment — land, plants, water. The work is part of an assessment to figure out how to reduce natural resource-based conflict in the area.
Yemen: Humanitarian needs demand urgent attention
Pakistan: Flood relief brings clean water back to families
After barely recovering from historic floods in 2010, millions of people in Pakistan were hit once again with a heavy monsoon season last fall.
Colombia: Stronger communities in the wake of flooding
Wilfran Zamora Nieto used to spend his days tending field of yucca, cotton, lettuce, radishes, cilantro and onions.
Indonesia: Neighborhood cleanup, one toilet at a time
I recently met Mr. Ripan, a hardworking skilled builder in West Jakarta, Indonesia. He is the Head of Village within the neighborhood of Kali Deres and a big proponent of his community members installing toilets in their homes.
Indonesia: Neglected springs go from trickle to lifeline
Padang is one of the world’s most vulnerable cities to earthquakes. Indonesia’s capital city is situated on a highly active fault line — the same one that triggered the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. And it is inevitable that another quake will hit in the future.
Nepal: Women channel healthy sanitation
Toilets are a luxury in Kanchanpur District. In fact, throughout this rural area of southwest Nepal, few people have access to even rudimentary latrines.
Colombia: Flood relief fueled by Seattle Sounders
With the combination of a broken levee and a rainy season that brought four times the average rainfall, the flooding in Colombia in 2010 reached far and wide. In the southern part of the Atlántico department on the Caribbean coast, Campo de la Cruz was completely submerged under water.
Nepal: Shoring up communities in Nepal
Savitri Devi Chaudry is a member of her village's Disaster Preparedness Committee.