Sanitary water is a prerequisite for leading healthy human lives. And yet, today, one in nine people lack access to safe water. Every two minutes a child dies from a water-related disease. Beyond direct health impacts, lack of sanitary water poses a huge problem for the development of communities.
With these things in mind, it's no wonder why clean water and sanitation is number six of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But what are people doing to address the issue?
Clean water for classrooms
The UBS Optimus Foundation has begun partnering with Impact Water↗ – a social business trying to combat this crisis head on by delivering sustainable, safe water to schools in developing countries. They sell, install and maintain water purification systems. The systems use established technologies and perform effectively with relatively simple, scheduled preventive maintenance.
By installing water purification systems in schools, Impact Water is able to reach efficiently a large number of children. Since they launched in 2014, they have developed offices in Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria, supplying over 5,000 schools and over 3,000,000 children with affordable, safe drinking water.
In addition to reaching larger groups of children, installing systems in schools also allows to reduce waterborne infection incidences, and keep more children in schools.
Impact Water customizes its payment terms according to individual schools' cash flows. The timing of installment payments is tailored to the school's funding ability and normally tied to the cycle of school fee payments. For schools, this makes the payment cycle much more manageable.
Why it matters
In September 2015, the United Nations set out a plan for transforming our world by 2030. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are aimed at addressing the most pressing social and environmental challenges of our time. We've committed to taking part in making them a reality.