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: 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.
Indonesia: Pushing back the sea
Indonesia: A video blog from Indonesia's remote Mentawai Islands
Indonesia: Not the typical sights of Jakarta
Today was an exhausting day. Our little group of Mercy Corps staff and supporters left the hotel early to drive out to West Jakarta where we toured an urban village, for lack of a better description.
Ethiopia: Tackling water poverty
Indonesia: Water tanks in Mentawai displacement camp, Indonesia
Bright orange water tanks, provided by Mercy Corps through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, located behind the temporary shelters of a displacement camp in Indonesia's Mentawai Islands.
Indonesia: Inviting the rain
In their old villages — before the earthquake and tsunami hit Indonesia's Mentawai Islands last year — people never had trouble getting fresh water. Their homes were always located close to rivers, because they knew that water is of the utmost importance.