Clean Water for Life Project Facts

Key Facts:

  • Contaminated drinking water is a major problem...Almost one billion people worldwide do not have access to safe water.
  • Diarrhea caused by drinking contaminated water remains a leading cause of illness and death among infants and children in the developing world.
  • About 1.8 million children die every year due to diarrheal diseases.
  • More children die from diarrheal illnesses like cholera and dysentery than from HIV/AIDS or malaria combined.
  • There is conclusive evidence that simple, low-cost interventions at the community level can dramatically improve the quality of household stored water and greatly reduce the risk of diarrheal disease and death.
  • It is well documented that simply providing safe, clean drinkable water can reduce deadly diarrheal and other devastating diseases by about 50%.
  • Providing a safe and efficient supply of clean water means children spend less time tending to survival tasks and more time dedicated to studies and brighter futures.

Project Priorities

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Clean Water for Life Project is focused on the following three priorities:

African Photovoltaic Project

In 2003, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur initiated a photovoltaic program in Africa by bringing electricity and pure water to three sites in Nigeria and Congo. Today, there are nine sites in Africa harnessing the power of the sun to provide a reliable source of electricity and clean water to hospitals, clinics, schools and villages. Go here for our Photovoltaic Project Fact Sheet.

Construction of Bore Holes

In many places in Africa, there is no reliable water source…not even a stream or water hole providing dirty water is available. The water table is often located deep in the earth, sometimes hundreds of feet down into the soil and often under rock. The Sisters are helping villagers install bore holes with hand pumps. This local reliable water source allows for a reallocation of time toward more productive activities, such as attending school. Go here for our Bore Hole Fact Sheet.

Education & Distribution of Clean Water Purification Packets

The Purifier of Water packet was developed by Procter & Gamble in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Created to enable people anywhere in the world to purify dirty water in a simpler, more affordable and convenient way, the water purification packet is based on technology similar to municipal water systems in developed countries. The global network of schools and clinics where our Sisters serve are natural education and distribution points for the water purification packets. This “network in place” promotes systemic change in local communities. Go here for our Water Purification Packet Fact Sheet.




Photo shows Villagers install a solar panel array on a roof-top

Villagers install a solar panel array on a roof-top, which will convert the sun's rays into electrical energy.

Photo shows The Sisters install bore holes and hand pumps

The Sisters install bore holes and hand pumps like the one shown here so villagers have a safe, steady and reliable source of water.

Photo shows Students stir water purification packets into the bucket

Students on the "water committee" stir water purification packets into buckets of dirty water. After about 30 minutes of processing and filtering, the water will be clean enough to drink - approximately 99.99% germ-free.