Less than $3.10

Imagine if you had no running water at home. What would your days look like? How far would you go for water? Imagine asking your child to walk miles with you under the beating sun to help you find water and carry it home. Then imagine if your family got sick from drinking it. When water is too expensive to buy, or takes hours every day to collect, it is almost impossible to find time for work or school. Thus, a family remains trapped in an endless cycle of poverty. These are the nearly incomprehensible issues 844 million people around the world face each day that illuminate the dire reality of the global water crisis.  

Access to safe water and sanitation can quickly turn these challenges faced by the poor into opportunities – unlocking education, the time to work, and improved health for women, children and families. Access to safe water determines whether or not a family living on less than $3.10 a day can break free from the cycle of poverty.

Without a home tap, the only way Erni and her husband could get safe water for their two children and granddaughter was to pay exorbitant amounts of money for jugs from the local water truck. As part of the 36% of the Indonesian population living on less than $3.10 per day, this was expensive and not always an option. When unable to purchase water, her alternative was to walk and collect unsafe water from a river near her home. Either option was costly to their finances or their health. 

When Water.org saw people like Erni facing a choice between unaffordable and undrinkable, we created a third option called WaterCredit. One of the major barriers to safe water and sanitation is affordable financing. WaterCredit helps poor families get access to affordable financing that enables them to pay for water connections at home. 

Erni's home in Indonesia

With her small, affordable loan, Erni's family could finally afford to install a water tap at home. Now she doesn't have to waste time finding water or pay for it any longer. Erni can use her time to teach at the local mosque, and with her earnings she can pay for the other necessities her family requires. 

Access to safe water is critical to giving families better health, and more time to pursue education and work opportunities. Our approach to bring safe water to all is market-driven and people-driven.  The truth is that many of the families living on less than $3.10 can get a water or sanitation solution in their home for a fraction of their annual water costs. All they need is access to affordable financing to make this a reality. Our pay-it-forward system makes it possible to help more people like Erni in ways that will last. We have already empowered more than ten million people in this way, and with your support, we can empower millions more to break free from the cycle of poverty.