“Water is life, and clean water is health.” — Audrey Hepburn
Clean, pure water. It really is the stuff of life. And it’s such a non-issue in the Western world. When you need a drink, you turn on the tap. But for millions of men, women and children living in India, access to clean water is more than just a challenge; for many, it doesn’t exist.
Imagine for a moment preparing a simple meal for yourself or your children. You’ve probably made breakfast thousands of times. Now imagine that the only available water is contaminated with bacteria, heavy metals and even feces. Imagine what it’s like to feel thirsty or hungry and having no other option. Can you?
That’s not the setting for a dramatic movie script, it’s real life. It’s also why GFA strives every day to help families in Asia gain access to clean, healthy water. One solution is the BioSand water filter. It’s simple, effective, and can change a family’s life.
The Need for Clean Water Can’t be Overstated
Throughout many parts of Asia, clean water is either unavailable or it’s challenging to find. The numbers are staggering. Some estimates place surface water contamination levels at 80 percent or higher in India.
According to a 2016 Water Aid report, over 75 million people in India have no access to clean water. That’s the highest concentration in the world. As surface water contamination increases, groundwater reserves decline. More and more families either use polluted water or buy clean water elsewhere, a trend that’s only predicted to grow. Prices can be as high as 20 percent of a poor family’s income.
Sadly, contaminated water leads to illness and even death. Over 100,000 children in India die every year from diseases contracted by drinking and otherwise using contaminated water. That’s hundreds of children’s lives lost to preventable diseases every day. Adults are not immune to water-borne disease, either.
BioSand Water Filters Bring About Miraculous Changes
“And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” — Matthew 10:42
Sometimes, a simple kindness and a straightforward solution are life-altering in the best of ways. That’s the case with BioSand water filters. They need no electricity, no complex construction and no special tools or maintenance. Once set up and in operation, a family can turn life-threatening, contaminated water into clean water for years.
These filters are often made from concrete with defined layers of washed gravel and sand inside, although some filters have a plastic or non-toxic housing. Once a biofilm layer develops and matures inside the filter, which takes up to four weeks, they continually eliminate an incredible amount of dangerous pathogens and solids. They also remove odors and colors, making water look and taste fresh.
In January, GFA visited a poor family in Lucknow, India, who had received a BioSand filter for their household. Constructed and given by Believer’s Eastern Church, this family now experiences God’s love and tender compassion each day through the gift of healthy water.
Sadly, the wife and mother of this family had already fallen ill, as is the case with so many in India. She was away from home being treated for her illness at the time of the visit.
I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live in your presence. — Psalm 140:12-13
God’s love is boundless. He dries the tears of the weary and lifts up the broken-hearted. He cares about His children, even (perhaps especially) those who suffer most. Through the works of GFA-supported pastors who share God’s love, fewer children lose their lives to preventable diseases. Fewer families suffer the heartbreak of debilitating or incurable illness. The most basic human need—clean water—is becoming attainable.