Many families in developing countries do not have access to clean water. Instead, they resort to unsafe water for their daily needs even though it is infested with bacteria and viruses, and will likely make them sick or cost them their life. These families have no other option and are forced to rely on unsafe water for survival.
1. Health & Sanitation
Because a clean water source is not available, families must use unsafe water for daily activities such as drinking, cooking, cleaning, and hygiene. Using contaminated water for these basic needs leads to a cycle of diseases, like diarrhea or dysentery, and even death.
2. Women & Children
Women and children feel the impact the most. Many walk three hours every day just to collect water, making work and education their last priority. The walk itself is dangerous, as many do the walk alone and are burdened with 40 pounds of water. Some get hurt, and some are even attacked. Furthermore, the water they have collected is unsafe and because most children aren’t strong enough to fight the bacteria found in the contaminated water, 9 out of every 10 water-related deaths are of children under 5 years old (source).
Families spend much of their time and effort collecting unsafe water, and are often sick from water-related diseases. Those that cannot collect water spend up to 11% of their income on purchasing the same contaminated water from informal water distributors (source). Not only do households have to worry about this daily need, but they also have to spend even more money to purchase medicine to fight the diseases. All of this leaves little time and money to improve their future.
There’s a solution
A water project can bring drastic change to a community suffering from unsafe water conditions. While different communities need different solutions, a typical water project consists of a water well with a hand pump. To have the most impact, communities also need to be trained on the benefits of proper sanitation and hygiene, and the relationship between preventing diseases and proper hygiene (such as hand-washing before eating or preparing food). It is also important to equip community members with the skills to handle the project’s maintenance and repairs, and to ensure that the water project’s components are locally sourced so parts can be easily found if needed. All of these factors are important in creating a sustainable change for the community, and we only work with partners, like Water.org, who identify the same critical needs.
How we do it
Engagement and wedding rings have enough profit margin built-in that by taking less profit, we can make a substantial positive change with each purchase, while pricing our rings for the same as (if not less than) most jewelers. Every ring has a significant impact and is responsible for giving clean water to 2 people, for life.
Clean water means safe water for drinking and hygiene, which directly leads to less disease and deaths. There is also reduced child and mother mortality as a result of access to safe water, sanitation facilities and improved hygiene during child birth.
One of the first tasks is for the community to elect a local water committee. Because women disproportionately carry the responsibility of collecting water, the committee is required to include female members. The water committee serves as the liaison between the community and our partners, facilitates the hygiene education program, and determines the schedule for project construction. The committee’s members are also trained on how to operate and maintain their water project.
Women and Children
The women and children, who used to walk up to three hours a day, will now have a walk of about 20 minutes. This means less time lifting and carrying heavy loads of water and more time for school, finding a job, or even maintaining a small vegetable garden. Women and young girls will also be safer as they do not have to go to remote and dangerous places to gather water during the night.
Clean water does mean safe drinking water, but that leads to much, much more. Clean water means improved health, safety, education, jobs, and economic growth. In fact for every $1 invested in clean water and sanitation, the World Health Organization estimates returns of $3-$34 (source). By choosing to fight the water crisis, and working with partners that create sustainable solutions, we can make sure that each ring leaves the world in a better place.