Director of Strategic Alliances, Water.org
Market-driven approaches like microlending are empowering people living in poverty with affordable access to safe water and improved sanitation.
World Water Day is a global celebration of water that happens once a year, but the global need for safe water to wash hands and keep families healthy exists every day. With millions affected across the world, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to the global water crisis. At Water.org, what we’ve found is one of the major barriers to safe water and sanitation is affordable financing. This is why we believe in market-driven, financial approaches like microlending to empower people living in poverty with affordable access to safe water and improved sanitation.
It starts with improved access to financing
People in need already pay high prices for water, in both time and money. The truth is that many of these families 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. We found that if given a choice and an opportunity to pay for water and sanitation improvements over a reasonable period of time, millions of people living in poverty will finance long-term solutions versus struggle day-to-day to find that next litre of water.
Many financial institutions in developing countries weren’t offering loans for water and sanitation to people in need. We brought resources and technical expertise to these organisations, equipping them to successfully add water and sanitation loans to their portfolios. Through small, affordable loans, we are making water and sanitation accessible to those who need them the most. And the results are noteworthy.
Together, we can help make every day water day by empowering people living in poverty with affordable, lasting access to the safe water they need to survive and thrive.
Small loans make a big impact
We use philanthropic investments to set-up a system that helps attract private capital, which is then loaned to people in need of water connections and toilets. Critical to the success of this system are our local partners who make financing available to the families we serve.
Together with our 154 local partners around the world, we’ve helped mobilise more than $2.6 billion in capital to support small loans, empowering more than 33 million people with improved safe water or sanitation to date. People like Alice.
How a small loan ended Alice’s water crisis
Alice walked a few kilometers each day to draw water from a nearby pond. During the dry seasons, she needed more water. So, to provide enough water for all her animals, crops, and family year-round, Alice paid $60 a month to have water delivered to her home.
These laborious and costly methods were Alice’s only options for decades, until she found a solution – affordable financing. With a small loan, she saved $40 a month while also getting a long-term water solution that will last long after her loan is repaid.
The solution helping to reach more people, faster
Lending for water and sanitation through small, affordable loans is changing lives around the world faster and at a lower cost. As Water.org’s Director of Strategic Alliances, I know our funders are pleased to invest in a smart, efficient solution. We’re seeing this financial approach scale, yet millions of people still lack access to safe water and sanitation at home. Together, we can help make every day water day by empowering people living in poverty with affordable, lasting access to the safe water they need to survive and thrive