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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: In a world where a child dies every 15 seconds from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene, Thirst-Ed's goal is to make knowledge of household water treatment and proper hygiene as common as how to cook rice or fry an egg. Thirst-Ed promotes education and knowledge as the principal tools for safe-water intervention, inspiring the drive for improved water quality to come from within the community prior to the introduction of safe-water technologies.

Programs: Vendor of water equipment and education program for the manufacture of water filters.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 5

I was the Water and Sanitation Manager for the British NGO Merlin in Myanmar after Cyclone Nargis for six months in 2008. Providing potable water for the cyclone survivors, who depended mostly on rainwater harvesting from roofs and in small reservoirs, was of great concern. Reservoirs had been contaminated and water storage containers lost. Assets and income to purchase water had also been lost, and coping mechanisms for water shortage had been damaged. Furthermore, even before the cyclone, water from the reservoirs, shallow wells and storage containers would have been contaminated and could not be considered safe to drink. Ceramic water filters made by local entrepreneurs, using mainly local materials and local labor, were one of the best viable options for treating water to remove pathogens. In collaboration with UNICEF, Thirst Aid provided local entrepreneurs with the training and assistance they needed to manufacture high quality filters. Thirst-Aid surveys showed that training the users led to more sustained use of the filters. So, Thirst-Aid trainers trained the staff of UN agencies and NGOs who buy and distribute the filters. Then, these staff train users on the importance of clean water as well as the correct use of the filters. Thirst Aid also provides free inspection of filters and can train client organizations to inspect the filters, thus ensuring a high quality product. Thirst-Aid’s methods include the transfer of skills and knowledge that help local people to set up viable businesses that use mainly local materials and labor. Thirst-Education teaches people the importance of clean water, which will foster lasting demand for the filters. These methods should ensure the sustainability of the intervention and its effects. Not only that, the international staff are training national staff to manage operations in Myanmar so that international staff can concentrate on expanding operations to other developing countries. Thirst-Aid continues to work to refine and improve its methods. Without Thirst-Aid, providing a sustainable source of safe water for cyclone survivors would have been much more difficult. On a tiny budget, Thirst Aid enabled several entrepreneurs to manufacture tens of thousands of ceramic water filters for cyclone survivors, while providing free training and inspection. Thirst-Aid staff, both international and local, showed an impressive dedication to improving the health and livelihoods of the most vulnerable members of the population. Dollar for dollar, in spite of the extremely difficult context, Thirst-Aid’s intervention in Myanmar was one of the most effective, sustainable and cost-effective operations I have ever seen, in over 30 years working in water and sanitation in relief and development in developing countries.