SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - San Luis Obispo-based Lifewater International has announced plans to expand its mission that helps provide clean water to people in need living in some of the most impoverished places in the world.
"In 2020, Lifewater is going to be launching a program in Tanzania, in the Shinyanga district," said Christine Zurbach, Lifewater Vice President of Philanthropy. "Shinyanga is an area of the world where access to basic water is not available. In fact, 9,000 under the age of five die from water-related diseases every year.
The announcement comes on World Water Day.
Held annually on March 22, it's a United Nations-created day of observance to bring worldwide attention to the need for freshwater.
"World Water Day reminds us that 844 million people in the world don't have access to safe water," said Lindsay Lange, Lifewater Director of Programs. "It's a crisis that exists in our world today that most people don't know about, so bringing attention to that and to the work of organizations like Lifewater and others, who are fighting this crisis everyday."
The move into Tanzania, which is located in eastern Africa, will be the latest for the faith-based organization.
Since it was created in 1977, Lifewater has served more than 2.5 million people that live in some of the most remote and isolated regions on the globe.
"Water is the foundation of life. Without water we can't be healthy. We can't be productive," said Lange. "We see it as the most basic needs. One of the most basic needs that people have physically."
Lifewater International is currently providing water and sanitation solutions to more than 200,000 people in Ethiopia, Uganda and Cambodia.
"At Lifewater, we're committed to ending the global water and sanitation crisis for good," said Zurbach. "We believe we can end this in our lifetime and wouldn't that be amazing if in 30 years we look back at the water crisis as something that was behind us and we can tackle other problems that are ahead of us.
Lifewater is able to provide life-changing assistance in large part through a process called WASH, which stands for Water Access, Sanitation and Hygiene.
"They learn how to keep their families healthy through practices like hand washing and toilets and then they get access to safe water, which improves the health of their family and children and it means they can improve their economic productivity and go to school and do so many other things," said Lange. "It improves their well-being and they're flourishing for the whole community."
To learn more about Lifewater International, visit their website.