Unclean Water is still an Issue
Updated: Apr 14, 2019
The first time I went to Pucusana was on a mission trip when I was 17. For two weeks we helped build a hospital room for overnight patients. A team of American doctors went with us to give free services to the people living in the barrios. I will never forget when one of the father who came lifted up the shirt of his toddler showing bloody puss like blisters all over the child’s back. What on earth could have caused such a disgusting and clearly painful condition? When I asked one of the doctors, she simple told me it was because the child was drinking unclean water. From that day forward, I struggled to understand how people could drink water knowing it was unclean when simply boiling it seemed like such an easy solution. But what I came to realize in the years to come was that most of these people don’t understand that drinking the water they have access to is bad for them. Or they do, but they live in circumstances where you either drink and cook with the water you have or starve.
Some of them are lucky enough to afford purchasing bottled water on a daily bases. So most people drink bottled water or soda instead of boiling the unclean water provided by the City. Problem solved right? Actually, while providing bottled water seems like it has solved water born illness issues, it has actually led to a massive influx of single-use plastic bottles polluting the worlds oceans and beaches leading to more unclean water. The inability to access clean water has contributed more to pollution than we’ll ever know! But that is a topic for another day.
The real fix to water born and food illness is for each City to build water purification systems and provide clean water to their citizens. So why does 30% of the world still suffer from unclean water when water purification systems, pipes and plumbing are not only available but also a tried and true method of getting clean water to the people!? Well, sadly there are so many reasons but mainly cost and corruption. And while this can be overcome, it takes a lot of time, even decades, before it will finally trickle down to helping the most impoverished people, like the ones living in Pucusana. So while we hand out single-use water bottles, wait for legislation to be passed and systems to be build, people around the world are still getting sick from water born illness and parasites you’d never even think of getting in the United States.
Therefore, one of the many projects The Pucusana Project offers is a number of different classes and workshops to the people living in the barrios. But how can these classes help the poor and put an end to drinking unclean water for entire communities? Isn't passing out water bottles cheaper, faster and easier?
Well, in our FREE workshops, if they be teaching math, history, literature, or English help bring up the average education level of the general public and our cooking classes and business training workshop helps the women living in the barrios start their own "food carts" companies. We are enabling the locals through education to start taking steps out of poverty themselves. These classes bring economic stability because they offer ways to make money. And when the people make more money they then have the ability to access clean water or can buy the tools necessary to boil water themselves.
This kind of business growth provides more income to those living in the barrios which in tern helps them improve the quality of their lives themselves. Do you see how it is all connected? On an even larger scale, when a community thrives, so does the local government and what it can offer (like water purifications systems) to its citizens (granted the officials are not corrupt).
Our methods give dignity to the poor while still changing their circumstances down to every drop of water they drink. Yes, this method will take a long time before we see massive change but economic growth is the only method that has without a doubt proven to bring entire communities out of poverty and provide peoples basic needs. Handing out water bottles is not a long-term solution, education and business growth is.
If you feel compelled, PLEASE donate to our projects. Each Workshop ranges between costing $200-500 a month and last for 6-9 months. Your monthly donations go toward literally changing the lives of those living in poverty.
For more on Water Facts: check out this post from Compassion International: