International Economic Development,
Mission: We envision a world free of extreme poverty. Providing people with safe water systems, latrines, and hygiene education is the 1st step to ending the cycle of poverty and death.The lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitary latrines is the top public health problem in the world and the number-one killer of children in the world. Lack of access to clean water has a devastating effect on women and girls who are traditionally responsible for water collection.Water 1st wants to unite people to fight this worldwide, silent catastrophe. We believe the global water crisis will be solved when we build a community of concerned individuals and motivate and mobilize them to take simple, effective actions.People living in extreme poverty have many needs, but we believe water comes first. Water projects are the foundation on which strong communities are built. Through provision of sustainable water, sanitation, and health projects, our goal is to address the most fundamental issues of childhood death, poverty and gender equality.
Target demographics: build water and sanitation systems for the world's poorest communities
Geographic areas served: Honduras, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia
Programs: Water first international provides grants to non-governmental organizations (ngos) based in developing countries in order to support the implementation of projects that include provision of drinking water, hygiene education, and sanitary latrines. The organization works with ngos in some of the poorest communities in the world to support sustainable, community-managed solutions to water supply and sanitation problems. In 2014, the organization completed 228 projects serving 16,922 people. Every project incorporates water, toilets, hygiene education, and community development. In oromia, ethiopia, the organization began funding the dawo kara project, which will be completed in 2015 and will serve 3,750 people. In bangladesh, 240 water systems serving 16,039 people in urban slum settlements in dhaka, chittagong, and khulna were completed. In the rural lempira communities of san bartolo, capuca, and portillo el paraiso, honduras, 882 people have piped water and toilets at every individual household. Additionally, our local partner initiated five additional projects that will be completed in 2015. As of december 2014, the water first community contributed over $11 million to support 1,200 water projects, benefiting 123,265 people. The organization's goal is to maximize cost-effectiveness by leveraging local resources. In the urban slums of dhaka, chittagong, and khulna, bangladesh, for example, beneficiaries pay 100 percent of the capital costs of their projects through two-year loans. The loans are repaid to the local non-governmental organization, who is the recipient of water first's grants. Repaid loan funds are revolved and used for additional water and sanitation projects and create a sustainable source of funds for water first's bangladesh partner. In honduras and ethiopia, beneficiaries and the local government contribute cash, labor, and local materials, which are valued at up to 25 percent of the total project cost. The organization's honduras partner now has the capacity to provide assistance for water system construction, expansion, and repair on a loan basis, further leveraging local resources.