Field Notes

New Approaches, Deeper Impact

July 27, 2011

Many communities where Living Water International drills wells have never known the taste of clean water. They’ve always gotten their water from the river, or the swamp, or a hand dug well, or a spring. Others have had a sealed well with a shiny hand pump that once gushed with crystal-clear water...and that pump has, for one reason or another, broken—leaving the community with the taste of clean water on their tongues, but none to fill their buckets and their jerry cans.

When water systems stop working, the value of sustainable WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) approaches becomes overwhelmingly clear. In the past year, Living Water International has discovered anew that many traditional approaches to WASH aren’t having the long-term impact that we believe they should. Our discoveries led to the writing of a five-year strategic plan that is resulting in the emergence of new and more effective ways to provide a cup of water in Jesus’ name.

In July, Living Water International joined with other organizations to endorse the WASH Sustainability Charter—a collaboratively-developed set of guiding principles that we believe will make our collective work last for generations, not just years. The charter brings together donors, implementers, academics, and other key groups because sustainability is not just an implementing problem. Nor is it just an academic problem or a donor problem. When a pump breaks, it is everyone’s problem.

We believe that by following these principles and collaborating with like-minded groups, we will be able to exercise good stewardship of limited resources, achieve long-standing transformation in the communities we are committed to, and ultimately bring greater glory to God.

Click here to read the Charter and join the movement.