In a speech to the United Nations, former Director General Kofi Annan stated: “We shall not finally defeat AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, or any of the other infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking water, sanitation, and basic health care.”
While that statement is sinking in, let me give you one more statistic: every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-born disease. Enter Bill Ashe.
The owner of a successful water pump business in Southern California, Ashe began travelling to Mexico in 1962 to help orphanages and churches develop safe water supplies. And as he saw the tremendous impact his work was having, Bill began bringing other water professionals with him. And the work grew to the point where in 1977 he founded Lifewater International, a non-profit dedicated to providing the rural poor with an integrated program of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene programs.
The vision is for long-term solutions, not temporary fixes. To that end, Lifewater provides the necessary training and equipment to local partners so they can then provide their own communities with safe water: by drilling for water, building and maintaining pumps, protecting natural springs, and implementing safe sanitation and hygiene practices. Over 2.3 million people in 40 countries have benefited.
Providing water, health and hope…
Bill Ashe is a hero you should know. And I’m Dr. Ross Porter.