The solution for millions

Many people who lack access to water and sanitation know exactly how to solve that problem. They just need a little financial help to make it possible. Dads like Ricardo share the desire of dads around the globe to give their families safe water at home. Making small, affordable loans available for people like Ricardo is how we’re making access to safe water and sanitation possible for all.

Ricardo and his family live in his childhood home. It’s the home his father built. Now, alongside his wife and mother, Ricardo is raising his daughter here. While full of nostalgia and love, the home lacked some of life’s most basic needs; a safe water tap and a toilet. Ricardo wanted these things to prevent his daughter, Gia, from facing the same daily struggles he once did; long walks for water and nowhere private to go. 

Billions around the globe have water on tap in their kitchens and toilets in their homes. Why didn’t Ricardo’s family, until recently? While Ricardo earns income working for a bank in Cusco, he couldn’t afford to pay for his own water or sanitation solutions in a single payment. However, he could make smaller payments over time. 

This is why Ricardo was thrilled when he learned he could take a small, affordable loan through’s partner bank in Cusco. While Ricardo’s employer offers microloans for small business equipment like sewing machines and taxis, they do not offer loans to families needing to fund their own safe water or sanitation solutions. With a small, affordable loan, he invested in his own solutions and changed his family’s lives.

WaterCredit made possible for Ricardo what he only hoped to be true, a loan he could repay over time that would empower him to give his family a water tap and bathroom immediately. Ricardo is not alone, there are an estimated *565 million other people like him, who, with access to affordable financing, could solve their own water problems immediately.

Understanding this should trigger a fundamental shift in thinking. People in need are no less diverse than any other group of people, and they require similarly different paths out of difficulty. Some require immediate help and subsidies to access the basics of life. There are hundreds of millions of others who are prepared to find and fund their own solutions to satisfy their needs. We can dramatically shift the balance of those needing aid and charity by serving those who can participate financially with affordable household credit. This is how we are making access to safe water and sanitation possible for all. 

This story was made possible by a generous grant from the Caterpillar Foundation. 

*There are 565 million people who, with access to affordable financing, could solve their water crisis – a $12 billion demand. Source: M.Mehta for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 2008. Assessing Microfinance For Water and Sanitation: Exploring Opportunities for Sustainable Scaling Up. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation