Lack of sanitation and clean water is the leading killer of children under the age of 5 worldwide. 35% of the world’s population does not have access to a clean water source, and 2.5 billion people in the world do not have the ability to practice proper sanitation (clean bathrooms or latrines, hand-washing stations, etc.). Clean water and sanitation initiatives support these communities with this fundamental need.
Check out these ways you can Engage In Good at home. Or, take a look at the stories below for examples of how we’ve supported Clean Water & Sanitation projects around the world.
Dirty water kills more people every year than any form of violence, including war. An estimated 2.5 billion people lack access to proper sanitation infrastructure, and more than 785 million people lack basic drinking water. This means billions are at risk of contracting potentially deadly illnesses and diseases, many of which—with proper sanitation and availability of clean water—are easily preventable. In fact, lack of sanitation is the leading cause of death for children under five worldwide, with more than 800,000 perishing every year from diarrhea as a result of consuming unclean water.
Wellness Advocate Heather Howell, with support from Blue Diamond leader Elizabeth Copeland, partnered with 10-year-old Salem Taylor to build a well for the St. Joseph Tungaini Primary School in Kenya. The school teaches children of various ages in the community, and waterborne disease is the main reason those children miss school.
Salem, who was passionately fundraising for this project through Hydrating Humanity, inspired Heather to join the cause and earn matched funds through the dōTERRA Healing Hands Foundation®. They raised $4,125 for the well at St. Joseph Tungaini Primary School and the dōTERRA Healing Hands Foundation matched that donation for a total of $8,250. Funds were used in March of 2020 to buy equipment, and then drill and build the well. The funds also provided educational training to the community on hygiene, as well as proper use and maintenance of the well. Now, more children will have the opportunity to spend their time in school.
Having access to clean water opens a world of possibilities that so many of us take for granted. Those who never have to think twice about their water source may not realize that many communities worldwide struggle every day to procure clean water.
Nepal, where several dōTERRA® essential oils are sourced, recently experienced a dire drinking water shortage. Villagers in Bhimsensthan had to travel to a public tap for water, hoping there’d be enough for them, as the government frequently shuts off the tap to ration water. Bhimsensthan is near Gokulganga, where the dōTERRA Healing Hands Foundation® funded the building of a hospital and government building for the Gokulanga Rural Municipality.
During this shortage, the dōTERRA Healing Hands Foundation teamed up with CHOICE Humanitarian to institute a local water system, ensuring the villagers wouldn’t have to worry about the rationing of their drinkable water. This project will supply 1,200 people with enough clean water for 200 homes, the Gokulanga hospital, municipality office, two schools, and the community center.
Similarly, the Nepalese village of Mahankal was struggling to obtain enough clean water to sustain their people. Like Bhimsensthan, Mahankal had only a community water tap, which not only failed to provide consistently clean water, but it also rarely had enough water for everyone. dōTERRA and CHOICE Humanitarian worked together to bring clean water to this village, with community members helping install the taps, thus bringing clean water to 950 individuals, as well as local areas like a park, temple, tea garden, and community center. In the small village of Tistung, 150 wintergreen harvesters and distillers were also impacted by the water crisis in Nepal. A similar pipeline project is underway to give these members of the dōTERRA sourcing family and their village access to clean, usable water, with aid from dōTERRA, CHOICE Humanitarian, and community volunteers.
Bishnu Waiwa, a social worker in Makawanpur District near Tistung, explains the impact that clean water will have on these three communities. He says, “The limited supply of water has been a source of conflict among neighbors, a deterioration of relationships among community members, and a cause for migration to other places in search of easy access to water. These water projects have mitigated social disharmony and additionally impacted time-saving, income generation from agriculture and livestock rearing, and sanitation hygiene.”
Through the efforts of the dōTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, CHOICE Humanitarian, and dedicated volunteers, villages like Bhimsensthan, Mahankal, and Tistung will now have access to clean water, as well as peace of mind knowing they have a safe, reliable water source. These projects will provide about 500 families—nearly 2,500 individuals—with the blessing of clean, accessible water in their communities and a world of possibilities.
One of the most significant but often overlooked areas of impact for underdeveloped countries is sanitation and hygiene. Communicable diseases are responsible for a greater number of deaths in such countries than anything else, which means—as simple and basic as it seems—proper sanitation and hygiene saves lives.
Through their Latrine Training Program, Engage Now Africa (with the support of the dōTERRA Healing Hands Foundation®) is working toward the goal of eradicating open defecation. As part of this effort, they build public latrines and handwashing sinks at open marketplaces, serving thousands of people per day. Additionally, their training and education about hygiene and sanitation has resulted in thousands of families building their own latrines.
Engage Now Africa facilitates the Latrine Training Program out of health posts, which are constructed in poor, rural communities to serve the local population. Each health post provides prenatal and postnatal checkups for expectant mothers, baby and child checkups, all immunizations, malaria treatment, and medications and treatments for HIV and minor diseases. The dōTERRA Healing Hands Foundation recently donated $20,000 to fund the Koftu village health post and latrine in Ethiopia. The Koftu health post is Ethiopia’s twenty-third post and will serve a population of 5,000 people.
The doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation traveled with a group of doTERRA® Wellness Advocates and a few employees to Nepal to serve the people and help with a water project. This project provided clean water to 500 families.
In this special podcast episode, we take a look at the quest to provide access to clean water around the world. We talk to Jim and Lara Hicks about their work with clean water projects. We also sit down with Rob Young, doTERRA Founding Executive, about why he is passionate about clean water projects and how the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation works to bring clean water to communities that need it.