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Our Lens

Perspectives on Solving the Global Water and Sanitation Crisis

A McDowell County resident fills a glass of clean, running water made possible by DigDeep and McDowell County PSD

America, like the rest of the world, is in a water crisis. Here’s what we can do.

With more than 2 million Americans lacking access to running water or basic plumbing, the U.S. water crisis has reached a critical juncture. It’s a multifaceted challenge that encompasses issues such as water scarcity, pollution, structural racism, inadequate infrastructure, and climate change impacts. Chris Freimund recently joined Water For People as the U.S. WASH Program Manager, the first role of its kind at Water For People. Here, we talk with Chris about what’s driving the U.S. water crisis, its connection to the global one, and how Water For People plans to be involved in U.S. work. 

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Lessons from South Sudan: Changing Expectations & Strengthening Systems

Two civil wars have put South Sudan behind in terms of national infrastructure—from transportation to electricity to water. Samson Hailu Bekele visited Aqua-Africa’s work in Juba and Nzara to better understand how South Sudan is progressing. Here’s what he learned.

cyclone freddy - ntauchila village in TA Likoswe

A Blueprint for Climate Financing: Getting the Money to the Right People

The bulk of climate funding has gone to "mitigation" or back to the same countries responsible for climate change.


The 2023 UN Water Conference & How We’re Supporting a BOLD Water Action Agenda

Here’s how Water For People is participating in the UN Water Conference and the conversations–backed by actions–that we hope contribute to that BOLD water action agenda that’s needed.

Photograph of a woman and a small child walking away from the camera on a road surrounded by green plants

Why Climate Resilience Matters

Kelly Latham, Senior Global Advisor for Climate and Water Resources, digs into climate resilience, why it matters, and what we can do communities most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.


One For All, a Global Alliance Fighting the Water Crisis

In early 2020, despite the fact that the pandemic was taking hold around the world, a very different, much more hopeful global conversation was taking place between Netherlands-based IRC and Water For People: The work we do together is successful. How can we make our collaborations more strategic and create more impact?

Photograph of city-view of Blantyre, with mountains in the distance and roofs in the foreground.

How Do You Stop Cholera Epidemics?

As of February 9, the death toll from cholera in Malawi was more than 1,300. Like many water-borne diseases, cholera is entirely preventable, making the rising death toll in Malawi even more heartbreaking.

Photo showing a stack of briquettes made from fecal sludge.

It’s Not All Going to Shit. Really.

Water For People’s Shitovation Awards were designed to address the disconnect between the global sanitation crisis and desperately needed innovation. Here are the 2023 grant projects.

Photograph of a person standing in a dirt road with lush green in the distance

From 51 to 1: Criteria for Expanding into a New Country

Samson Bekele, co-CEO of Water For People, shares his vision for Water For People, as he tells us how he created the criteria to select our new partner country in Africa.

Graphic of several tiger worms

Give Some Worms for the Holidays. It Makes a Difference.

Here’s why we chose the five items offered by Water For People in the Light the World Giving Machines this year.

Photograph of toilet parts and pipes on a shelf

Supporting Entrepreneurs: The Toilet Seller

A major component of Water For People’s approach to ensuring sustainable sanitation is supporting locally-led sanitation businesses. These businesses are developed by entrepreneurs to fill a gap in the market, providing families with safe, affordable, and uninterrupted sanitation services because providers are local, not miles away.

Co-CEO Samson Hailu Bekele (far right) walks with community members in Rwanda.

Taking the Long View: Partnering with Governments to Create Change

Because Water For People’s plan is to eventually exit the countries we’re working within, partnering with governments and strengthening national systems is a necessary requirement for our work.