Water is essential for proper sanitation, not only during the current pandemic but at any time. A nonprofit organization in Kansas City, co-founded by Matt Damon, is working hard to provide broader access to reliable supplies of safe water.
“During this extraordinary public crisis, we know that the people we serve have the least access to services and face the greatest risk of infection,” said Matt Damon, co-founder Water.org and WaterEquity.
While the first step towards combating coronavirus in wealthy countries has been obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE), Damon says that the first step in many impoverished communities has been obtaining clean water. “Water is the very first level,” he said. “Water is PPE.”
Resilience to address future crises depends on actions taken now, as well as on policies, institutions and capacity put in place during normal times, the organization said.
“Water.org is proud to stand beside our sector leaders and stakeholders to highlight the urgent need to prioritize water and sanitation now,” said Jennifer Schorsch, president of Water.org. “Financing sustainable solutions that strengthen services and systems for all will allow us to emerge stronger and more resilient to future shock. Invest in water today.”
Water.org is an international nonprofit organization that has positively transformed more than 29 million lives around the world with access to safe water and sanitation. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers market-driven financial solutions to the global water crisis. WaterEquity is the first-ever asset manager exclusively focused on solving the global water crisis., WaterEquity funds invest in a portfolio of financial institutions and enterprises in emerging markets to deliver access to safe water supply and sanitation to families living in poverty.
“More than 90% ofmicro loans go to women and girls, who are often tasked with water collection and subsequently have to skip or drop out of school,” Damon said. Once their community has access to clean water, the girls who would have their day obtaining that water can instead focus on their studies. “It’s the difference between having a life and living out your potential or just being relegated to this brutal cycle of poverty,” he explained.
“Water touches everything, and this pandemic is no exception,” White adds. “The frontline defense is handwashing, made possible by safe water. Let’s make water, sanitation, and hygiene available to everyone to prevent the spread of diseases today and to support the health and resilience of our global community tomorrow.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice