Water is the most important basic element of Mother Nature. Making this element accessible for people worldwide, appreciating and protecting it is one of the foremost challenges, the German Red Cross has taken on together with its partners.
Three quarters of our planet is covered with water. But only a very small share of it is potable. The GRC has taken on the task to make this valuable source of life accessible to every human and to share the necessary knowledge to protect the indispensable resource water.
Everyone has a right to clean water. However, over 633 million people on earth do not have access to water. Every year over two million people fall ill and die, because they have to drink polluted water. The weakest, first of all children, are most vulnerable. Polluted water is the main cause for illnesses such as diarrhea, cholera and typhus, bilharzia, malaria and yellow fewer. This is why the GRC is engaged together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the "Global Water and Sanitation Initiative" (GWSI). Our goal is:
Hygiene and knowledge for parents and children
The GRC and its international local partners of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies inform the population locally in the affected areas about essential hygiene measures. This education already starts with the youngest. Because, knowing what is important, right from the start may save lives. This is why we speak to children in schools and with their parents at public meetings explaining the importance of clean water and sanitation standards. This provides them with knowledge that can help to improve the conditions of their lives.
Help for self-help
People want to take on their problems themselves. Help for self-help is what is needed. This is why the German Red Cross provides people with means and knowledge so that they can steadily ensure their own access to potable water and establish and maintain the essential sanitation standards to protect their health. To ensure this, we train local craftsmen in water supply and sanitation. Also, the GRC establishes so called "water committees" in the communities to ensure a fair distribution of potable water and to maintain the technical equipment.