Chronic Dehydration: The Danger of Thirst

Chronic Dehydration: The Danger of Thirst

Most people know what thirst feels like. It’s an uncomfortable sensation felt in your throat coupled with an urge to drink water. Some of us relieve our thirst by going to the faucet and filling up a glass from the tap. However, others struggle to solve the problem with such ease. For the 884 million people worldwide who don’t have access to safe drinking water, dehydration can become chronic.

Chronic dehydration leads to problems more serious than the temporary discomfort of acute dehydration. Healthline reports that chronic dehydration occurs when your body goes through long stretches of time without enough water. It’s a widespread issue; a study across Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay found that one third of adults did not meet the recommended adequate intake of water.

A man drinks water from an outdoor faucet. Drinking enough water is the best way to prevent chronic dehydration, but many people don't have access to an adequate supply of drinking water.
Image credit: Pexels

Acute vs Chronic Dehydration

The human body needs water to operate optimally. Water plays many roles in maintaining bodily functions like oxygen delivery, joint lubrication, digestion, and cell survival. When somebody doesn’t take in enough water, they can enter a state of acute dehydration. The Mullen Natural Health Centre associates acute dehydration with “dark coloured urine, extreme thirst, dizziness, and even rapid heartbeat.” When this acute dehydration is left untreated or is recurring, the body becomes chronically dehydrated.

Symptoms of Chronic Dehydration

Chronic dehydration leads to skin dryness, perceived hunger, headaches, constipation, temperature dysregulation, fatigue, muscle weakness, and muscle cramping. Mayo Clinic reports that chronic dehydration can cause urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and kidney failure. Mild dehydration can cause irreversible damage to the kidney when it’s recurring. Chronic dehydration can also lead to high blood pressure and muscle damage. 

Beyond its physical symptoms, chronic dehydration can also have negative cognitive effects. Acta Paediatrica found that dehydration adversely affects cognitive function in school-aged children, and the British Journal of Nutrition reports that “severe dehydration has been shown to cause cognitive deficits such as short-term memory and visual perceptual abilities as well as mood disturbance.” In fact, being dehydrated by just 2%  has negative effects on attention, immediate memory, and psychomotor skills.

On top of these cognitive disturbances, dehydration negatively impacts emotional wellbeing. Even mild dehydration can contribute to “low energy, anxiety, nervousness, depression, and trouble thinking clearly” due to dehydration’s effects on serotonin and dopamine balances.

Risk Factors

Anyone can become chronically dehydrated, but certain risk factors increase the likelihood that someone will suffer with this condition. One of the predominant risk factors for becoming chronically dehydrated is having sporadic access to drinking water. The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine states that women should drink 2.7 liters of water a day while men should drink 3.7 liters, but many people around the world struggle to access this amount of potable water. For example, 32% of Ugandans must travel for upwards of half an hour to access safe drinking water, and 7 million Ugandans do not have access to safe water at all.  

Maintaining long-term adequate hydration is important for preserving physical and cognitive wellbeing, but for many, it’s an unreachable goal.

Main Takeaways

To people living in places without clean drinking water, dehydration can become more than an inconvenience and develop into a chronic health issue. Chronic dehydration has serious ramifications on the body, including temperature dysregulation and muscle damage. Over time, dehydration also reduces cognitive functionality and impedes emotional wellbeing.

By partnering with us, you can join us in impacting people around the world by providing them with clean water and other sanitation resources. Follow along with our blog to keep up with the latest WASH issues and learn more about the global impacts of unsafe water.

Implications of Poverty and Alleviation Strategies in Uganda

Implications of Poverty and Alleviation Strategies in Uganda

Roughly 10% of the world population – which is over 700 million people – live in abject poverty. As the greatest social determinant of health, poverty is predominantly driven by inequality. Situations such as overcrowding and uneven land distribution, in conjunction with disparities among equitable access to resources, also lead to scarcity in vulnerable regions.

Notably in Uganda, circumstances such as large family size, inherited health issues, and lack of skilled laborers are among the leading drivers of poverty. They are considered the world’s youngest population, with a youth unemployment rate of around 62%. Countries with a youthful population have high numbers of young people and smaller numbers of older people.

Scope: Uganda

Since there are more potential workers in a youthful population, there is a higher potential for income. However, many of the employment opportunities available are in the informal sectors, instead of in developing businesses. The government does not tax informal wages. This relative instability creates a reliance on unskilled labor

Also common among youthful populations is a higher rate of disease. Many governments do not handle disease outbreak well, which can jeopardize their future economic stability. This poses a myriad of issues as children are far more likely to die of illnesses than adults. Those who are working likely face a considerable responsibility to support and provide social services essential to vulnerable populations. Vulnerable populations usually consist of the children and elderly, who are more socially and economically dependent (United Nations).

In Uganda, and in many similar countries, it can be both challenging and expensive to register a new business. While ranked the world’s most entrepreneurial country, Uganda has historically faced issues with business growth. Challenges ranging from high levels of corruption to inefficient government services have hindered potential business growth.

How Business Can Help

In order to foster economic development and provide dignity, business is key. Entrepreneurship creates programs and projects, which are aimed at improving living conditions in underdeveloped communities. Tackling issues such as environmental pollution or inadequate housing is made possible by workers – and their employment helps to raise them from poverty. Secure employment allows people to remain independent and able to take advantage of the goods and services that businesses provide (ADEC Innovations).

Businesses should also ensure that they are respecting human rights, especially of the disproportionately represented, including persons with disabilities, women and children, and indigenous peoples. They can do so through various actions and solutions, such as creation of products and services tailored for lower income customers or investing in poverty eradication activities (SDG Compass).

Mentorship

When a business provides mentoring and education to their employees, they also provide dignity. Through mentoring, one may develop business skills in exchange for labor. These acquired skills can lead to higher levels of success for the individual.

When mentors provide expert guidance in a specific area, the mentee receives a specialized education and skill set that equips them for a successful career in business. Mentor/mentee relationships can also create partnerships for future business endeavors, which further boosts economic gain.

Mentoring is mutually beneficial for all involved. Mentors themselves may benefit from exposure to different perspectives, a rise in self-confidence, and increased job satisfaction. Mentees also gain much outside of career development. They may learn how to self-reflect, develop stronger communication skills, and learn from other’s experiences. Organizations also benefit from mentoring through higher engagement among employees, higher retention rates, and increased productivity (Guider).

Access To Capital

Beginning a business starts with access to capital – the funds and resources needed for operational costs and growth. For many, a sum that large is difficult to come by. Around 29% of businesses fail due to lack of sufficient capital, so partnering with someone who can handle the upfront costs can benefit hopeful entrepreneurs.

Access to capital provides the essential elements people and businesses need to regulate their economic well-being and promote savings. Other benefits include investment opportunities, job creation, and growth. Additionally, financial access can empower women, making it easier for them to build wealth and create small businesses (World Bank).

Business Connect’s Role

Business Connect aims to strengthen partnerships and collaborate across cultures, building businesses to help alleviate poverty in communities. We want to share tools for success and empower future entrepreneurs, rather than simply provide charity. In our efforts, we strive to provide access to capital, foster mentorships, and enable individuals with the tools needed to start a profitable business.

Lou Haveman, founder of Business Connect said, “[w]hen you look at a problem of the world and you can find a business solution, which brings profit to you and blesses people at the same time, you have found something that is very rare.” Through their partnership with Business Connect, Ugandan entrepreneurs have been able to find further opportunities to expand their businesses. Additionally, our business partners in Uganda have been able to do things like pay for their first child’s birth and install water filtration systems in schools.

We provide our products on consignment to local entrepreneurs, allowing them to have merchandise upfront. By having access to capital, business owners are able to turn a profit quicker and continually invest in their business.

Through mentorship, Business Connect equips entrepreneurs with the tools needed to begin new businesses. Learning the skills needed to succeed in business allows individuals to retain their dignity and to help others in their communities.

When we partner with locals to help them grow a business, it not only helps them better themselves, but also impacts their communities and ultimately their country. For people who would otherwise not be able to afford large expenses, the stability that comes with having a business uplifts individuals and communities.

If you would like to be part of this network, please connect with us. We are always looking for ways to make new connections and grow together!

Everybody Gets Dirty: Tim’s Story

Everybody Gets Dirty: Tim’s Story

Being an innovative businessman and entrepreneur, Tim White, the creator of one of Business Connect’s newest products, Crud Cloth, was always passionate for human centered design and creating sustainable products that help the unmet needs of people around the world. He always strived towards helping people have a sense of cleanliness and restoring the dignity for those in need. 

Tim’s passion for helping people has fueled him to travel across the world to multiple countries to learn more about humanity’s struggles with clean water and hygiene. His willingness to learn first hand and educate those on how to use water products shows how genuine his passion is. Originally, Tim created the Crud Cloth for the sole purpose of cleaning up after a long bike ride through the mountain trail or after a day of camping. However, his partnership with Business Connect to distribute Crud Cloth around the world may have never happened if he did not take his passions to a more personal level. Looking back at his experiences in the Dominican Republic and seeing how important hygiene was for all people no matter their circumstances, Tim realized that the Crud Cloth could have a much bigger impact worldwide.

His passion for sustainable products also stems from his love for outside activities and the importance of cleaning up afterward. Tim and his family love to get dirty! As avid mountain bikers, Tim wanted to create the perfect product to help him and his family clean up after a trail ride. After meticulous trial and error, the Crud Cloth was born, solving all of the problems that regular wipes and washcloths could not. It is truly a shower in a bag that can clean a person, leaving them smelling amazing and feeling refreshed. 

KOHLER Clarity

Before the creation of Crud Cloth, Tim worked for Kohler Co., a manufacturing company, where he created Kohler Clarity, a safe water filtration system. Since 2016, Kohler Clarity has been a part of a disaster relief and community development effort around the world to help people access safe drinking water. With help from Business Connect, Tim and Kohler were able to distribute the water filters in the United States and internationally in countries that struggled with clean water.

According to the CDC, 2.2 billion people still lack safe drinking water in their homes. Tim knew that the water filters would have a positive impact on homes affected by this global issue. Still, he felt that the distribution alone would not be good enough.

Tim has traveled to numerous countries across the world in order to research and gain feedback on the filters. He spent his time learning more about the water issues first hand and how the filters were helping and holding up. He met with hundreds of less fortunate families to educate them about how to use the filters. Honest feedback was something that he found to be extremely important because it would give him an even better understanding of how he could help meet the needs of people struggling with water issues around the world.

In the Batey

One experience in particular changed Tim’s outlook. On a trip to the Dominican Republic, he worked in the homes of a Batey, a sugar plantation town, where he noticed something very eye opening. Most homes he visited had pristine cookware and plastic surrounding the couches. Tim realized that even in very different circumstances, people’s dignity comes from similar priorities.

“I realized at that moment that it doesn’t matter if we are upper or middle class in Minnesota or poor in a Batey; having nice things and keeping them nice is a source of pride and an aspirational thing.”

Tim understood that there was an ongoing global issue with water and hygiene. In fact, 3 billion people worldwide lack basic hand washing facilities at home and more than half of the global population does not have access to safe sanitation. 

Tim has learned so much about the importance of hygiene and the dignity that it brings to people at a universal level. Since his experiences in the Dominican Republic and traveling across the world for Kohler Clarity, Tim has created the Crud Cloth. It is a product that mimics a shower to the best of its ability in a portable fashion. 

When looking back at his experiences, Tim realized now that the Crud Cloth and its use can go beyond the convenience it can bring for a mountain biker after a ride or a camper after a day in the woods. He noticed that his invention had the potential to make a difference on a global scale.

“Everybody gets dirty. Whether you are a mountain biker like me, a golfer, or a camper, you will find yourself covered in grime. You may not have access to a shower at the time and the Crud Cloth can help you with that. However, some people do not have access to a shower period.”

Crud Cloth is special in the sense that it has that universal appeal.

Global Reach

Tim saw this golden opportunity and took it. His original vision for the product to be used by anyone who enjoys outdoor activities still stands. However, that vision grew into an even bigger mission. The mission is to distribute Crud Cloths worldwide to countries that are in need of a sustainable hygienic product built to clean people and leave them feeling better and healthier. There was no better way for Tim to do that than with Business Connect. Tim felt that Business Connect was the perfect choice to partner due to the great relationship and similar vision Tim and Jereme Lambert, CEO of Business Connect, shared.

“My work with Jereme and the team at Business Connect was amazing while with Kohler. We built a relationship where I knew as soon as I wanted to do something with Crud Cloth globally that Business Connect would be open to my ideas and willing to make something happen.”  

Crud Cloth has since been making its impact in the United States and internationally. It has helped many families stay clean and give them a sense of dignity. Tim’s work with Business Connect distributing Kohler Clarity and his more recent product, the Crud Cloth, has helped over one million people around the world fight against the water and hygiene crisis that they struggle with everyday. Tim’s passion for invention and innovation for sustainable products has made a huge impact in the movement towards a cleaner and healthier world. His genuine concern for the less fortunate has brought a new hope for those struggling. 

Support Crud Cloth and Kohler Clarity

At Business Connect, we share the same passion Tim has for distributing sustainable products made to help fight against the water and hygiene crisis. This is why Business Connect works with global distributors to distribute the Crud Cloth and Kohler Clarity worldwide. Buying the Crud Cloth or the Kohler Clarity will help support the cause and significantly impact the ongoing hygiene and water crisis in a positive way. Special thanks to Tim for working with us here at Business Connect to help those around the world who are in need. Thank you to all who have and continue to support us on our mission to provide citizens living in the global south with affordable and easy access to clean water, through the creation of a sustainable, local business model.

World Water Day: A Heart For The Distributor

World Water Day: A Heart For The Distributor

Here at Business Connect, we are all about being part of the solution to the water crisis, so it’s only fitting for us to acknowledge World Water Day. Today, we wanted to share on our heart behind our distributors. While any individual here at Business Connect can speak for our team, a person at the core of our business,  Jereme Lambert, our CEO/Co-Owner, shares our heart the best.

A Q&A With Jereme Lambert, CEO/Co-Owner

We were able to take a moment to interview Jereme to share our heart for our international team and why they’re so important to us. 

How is Business Connect different from other water businesses/charities? 

JL: For years NGOs (Non-Governmental Organization)  have talked about bringing the private and public sector together to bring a difference. There’s lots of public sectors like the government and NGO’s, but we are working globally from a private perspective bringing business to the water crisis. 

It goes back to our name, Business Connect. While we are about bringing clean and safe water to the world, it’s more than that—it’s about connecting and empowering businesses to solve that problem. We don’t just go and fix the water solution, that’s not our goal. Our goal is to empower our international distributors to be part of the solution but through business. 

What’s the heart behind focusing on international distributors?

JL: The heart behind that is to bring economic change while solving the problem of the global water crisis. Bringing water to countries is important – we all know that’s important. However, doing that through local independent distributors and empowering them is a way to also bring economic advancement. It creates business development, it creates companies, jobs, and ultimately brings economic change. 

The reason why we do international distributors instead of doing it all ourselves is to empower them to be self-sustaining. 

(Starting from scratch) How do you mentor your international distributors? 

JL: The steps for mentoring are very relational. Sometimes someone reaches out to us or sometimes we look at the water status of a place and reach out to them. 

After that connection is made, whether we’re starting from scratch or are working with people who have established a company in the area, the next step is our team traveling to that place. We go to build a better relationship while finding people who have the heart to help others. After that relationship is built, we then help train by talking about how to better manage their company. We then introduce them to the network those doing the same as them; to NGOs, and stores that would sell their products. 

To break it down simpler we 1.) let people watch us do it, 2.) we do it alongside them, and 3.) they’ll go out and do it by themselves. Our goal isn’t to just fix the problem but empower them to help be the solution. It’s also during these steps where there’s a lot of Q & A and discussion. 

What characteristics best describe the international team you work with? 

JL: Because we work with so many people around the world whose backgrounds are so varied, there are so many different characteristics. However, despite working with contrasting people, we’ve found the common characteristics being love and compassion for those in their community. 

A couple examples are a man in Honduras who is an expat and a man in Madagascar who is a professional musician. While both come from different backgrounds, both saw their people struggling with water, and wanted to start businesses to solve the problem. 

It’s that heart, love, and compassion for others that drives them to take action to create change. It’s that drive to help solve the water issue but through entrepreneurship.

What’s a new idea that the business has been working on/developing for our distributors? 

JL: Over the last 12 months, we’ve created the Distributor Resource Center. In recent years we’ve physically gone to our distributors and have given them thumb drives that contain resources. However, when COVID19 hit, it changed everything; like everyone, we had to go virtually. The Distributor Database allows our distributors to access everything we would have given them on the thumb drive and more. It includes sales sheets, test reports, networks, connections, and everything they might need to move forward and be successful. 

What goals do you hope to achieve in the next 3 years for our international team? 

JL: Some of the goals for our international team is to build a bigger network, hire more staff, enhance our training, and resources that we provide them. We feel the responsibility to empower them by giving them tools to do better. 

Another goal, truthfully, is to be in more countries. As of now, we have an impact list of 78 countries and we’d like to be in the mid 80’s; some of those being Francophone countries. While we do a small amount of work in the Francophone countries, we don’t have any distributors there yet; it’s a realm that I’d really like to see us venturing into in the next three years. 

How do you measure success in these relationships? What do you enjoy the most about working with our international distributors?

JL: This is where I’m a little different than others. I measure the success of these distributors by the depth of our relationships. I think about last year – how a few distributors struggled with the loss of loved ones due to the virus. Those distributors called me and I was able to walk alongside them in their grief. That, to me, is success. 

I also think about the times I get to have dinner with our distributors in their home. I meet their families, children; we talk and bond. I meet their families, kids – we talk and bond. It’s also my favorite thing and brings me the most joy. 

Yes of course we have metrics, sales, and all of those things, but relational depth is really the catalyst of change. 

Business Connect’s Focus for World Water Day 

As we move into World Water Day, we wanted to take part and focus on our heart for our international distributors. While we work to empower them to be self-sustaining economically to help to solve the water crisis, we celebrate them. As remember and bring awareness to the importance of freshwater, we remember and bring awareness to the importance of our international team.

Stay Connected 

We want to take this time to say thank you to everyone who has followed our journey.

We also invite you to answer the invitation to take action to help sustainable water development by staying connected. You can follow us on our social media or apply to be a Distributor. Another way is connecting us with a community you know that is in need of water. Our heart is with those we connect with and that means you! 

Danny, the Man of Many Hats

Danny, the Man of Many Hats

DANNY, our partner in the Philippines, wears many hats. He is presently the head of National Commission for Art Galleries of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines. He is also an art curator and a visual artist, a corporate executive, a resource speaker, and in 2014, he became a humanitarian worker.

Super-typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on November 7, 2013. Haiyan killed over 6,000 people and left 4 million homeless. It was the deadliest ever recorded in human history. Many humanitarian groups got to work directly after: there would be years of rebuilding after a disaster such as this. 

Danny with his wife, holding up a paper in the shape of a heart.

Haiyan was a call-to-action for Danny. He helped in various humanitarian relief operations and was involved in the recovery and rehabilitation of the victims of Haiyan. That was when he realized his new calling: ‘a new hat – a humanitarian worker.’

Amidst his artwork, humanitarian ventures, and disaster response, Danny keeps very busy. One of Danny’s interests is quite unique: Danny is an ostrich egg artist, creating and carving beautiful displays into each egg. Many art shows and exhibitions showcase his artwork. He is also a resources speaker. In chatting with Danny on being a resources speaker, he chuckled and after a pause, jokingly noted,

 “…I talk a lot!”

Danny’s Solution

Danny ascertained that victims of natural disasters–at all times–require shelter, food and water. He connected with various non-governmental organizations to find ways to facilitate the provision to all the victims. In one of his experiences, he facilitated a donation of a 20-foot container of bottled water from another country. Although the donation was generous, it wasn’t an environmentally-friendly donation. It was costly, not sustainable, and a logistical nightmare. 

Danny believes that access to clean, potable drinking water is a basic human right. He searched for a better alternative to bottled water. In his search, he was directed to Business Connect and our Global Director Darin Fey. He was then introduced to our VF100 Water Filter. The VF100 is a portable and complete filtration system that removes 99.99% bacteria, protozoans and viruses. It is the perfect solution for Danny’s disaster response missions. Danny knew right away that the VF100 was a quality filter. He noted that it makes his own already-filtered water even clearer and better quality. 

His first purchase of water filters were brought to Vanuatu of the South Pacific: a time when the area was ravaged by the devastating cyclone Pam. The victims of Pam welcomed the distribution of the VF100 water filter gratefully. Wonderfully, in the isle broadsheet, in an article titled, “Philippines brought water to Vanuatu,” Danny and his work were featured. Danny now carries the VF100 to each of his disaster relief operations. He believes in the product as a formidable solution for disaster sites and rural development areas.

Water Refilling Stations

Private companies known as water refilling stations are where many people allocate water in the Philippines. These businesses provide water and fill consumer’s containers for a per-gallon fee. Danny noted that the price for water has gone down as water refilling stations keep growing across the landscape. The introduction of the VF100, though, has made it so that some of these families no longer have to pay for water. 

Danny joked “We’re practically running them (water refilling stations) out of business!”

Danny’s Water Filter Stories 

After adding the VF100 to his repertoire, Danny could now provide water economically and efficiently to communities in need. Danny lit up when retelling his experiences of traveling around the world, risking his own life, and providing relief to those left resourceless by natural disasters.

Gorkha

In 2015, the Gorkha earthquake shook Nepal “practically… every other hour,” as Danny was there. This was an extremely scary experience for Danny as he was there during the heat of the event. He was there for only 10 days, luckily. Another earthquake struck in the next few days following his departure. Just as frighteningly, the building Danny stayed in collapsed with this next seismic event. Danny was so thankful to get out just in time. 

‘Just a Stream’

Danny told of his venture to the southern Philippines, where typhoon Vinta had just devastated a rural and economically disadvantaged community. The trip included a plane ride and a trip by boat. Danny found out, after speaking with the mayor, that the number one problem in the community was diarrhea and cholera, two water-borne diseases. When Danny found the reason for these issues, it was shocking to him.

“When I checked their source of water… it was just a stream. They said the department of health checked it… they said it passed their standards, and I said, really?” Danny provided. Per the U.S. DNR, though some spring-fed streams are relatively safe, agricultural, human, and animal waste contaminates them easily. 

Danny distributed the VF100 to this community. About a year after the disaster, Danny got back in touch with the village mayor. Incredibly, the cases of cholera and diarrhea had virtually disappeared. With a smile, Danny stated “I can only attribute that to the water filter.” 

Danny also brought the VF100 to aid a series of disasters in Indonesia of the Krakatau volcanic eruption, causing flooding and soil liquefaction;  the catastrophic cyclone Idai that hit Mozambique, and the volcanic eruption Taal, which covered the 15KM radius with ashes and destroyed the water system in the area.

A Challenge to You

You’ve read about Danny’s efforts in bringing the VF100 water filter to communities in need, and the ways in which it has eased those communities of disease and thirst. At Business Connect, we aim to help you do the same – however we can. Want to run a business and become an in-country distributor of our products? We provide this opportunity as well as mentoring and equipment to help you start your project. Click here for questions, concerns, or any interest in becoming a network affiliate!

Mercy Ministries: Clean Water in Madagascar

Mercy Ministries: Clean Water in Madagascar

Madagascar is the 4th largest island on earth, just off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. Around 27 million people known as Malagasy call it home, many of whom have Indonesian heritage. Even with beautiful ecological diversity and a flourishing cultural heritage, clean water is still needed in many parts of Madagascar.

With such a large land area, Madagascar has very diverse terrains; from volcanic mountains to highlands to rainforests to sandstone cliffs. An urgent need is a consistent access to health centers and clean water. Some locals must walk ten to fifteen kilometers to reach a dirty pond or river. For basic health services, they must walk up to a day in the forest to the nearest health center. According to UNICEF, in 2009, 70% of children suffered from moderate malnutrition and other health issues in these communities.

Mercy Ministries was created with these clean water issues in mind. Mercy Ministries Africa aims to support and encourage the development of disadvantaged countries by providing appropriate humanitarian aid to the poor regardless of gender, race, or religion. Their core team is in Madagascar, with other teams in Zimbabwe, South Sudan, and Comoros.

Mercy Ministries in Action

Their work begins by helping local communities learn how they can use the resources they already have available. Their main project, focused on medical outreaches, began in Madagascar about 15 years ago. The team was able to help some members of the community. Still, they found that these outreaches were very limiting. At this time the number one killer in Madagascar was Malaria. Many also suffered from respiratory and waterborne illnesses. As the team visited various villages, they were heartbroken. They often saw many kids lying sick in the villages. Mercy Ministries focused on training local people in these rural villages by equipping them with basic health knowledge for prevention. Each local healthcare worker was paired with a government healthcare official for 3 months to learn preventative healthcare. This provided a simple yet effective foundation for health in the villages.

At the same time, Mercy Ministries works to identify core needs in a community. In addition to healthcare training, Mercy Ministries identified clean water as an urgent need in many communities. Those living in the village often have to walk many kilometers only to retrieve muddy or greywater. They used to use sand and gravel to filter the water, but these filters did not prevent waterborne illnesses. The team knew they had to find another option. 

A Simple Clean Water Solution

Mercy Ministries found a simple and efficient solution in the VF100 water filter from Business Connect. The filter did not need electricity, which is perfect for bringing clean water to the remote villages of Madagascar. During the next outreach, the team began distributing as many VF100 water filters as they could. When the villages first received the filters, they saw the clear difference in the water. The families were so thankful to receive the filters as it was clear the water filters would save lives. 

Years later, the Mercy Ministries team was thrilled that these villages child mortality rate had dropped significantly. Their work is transforming the health of the people living in poverty. Over the years, they have been able to provide health education to 55 villages. Their efforts helped 250,000 people that did not have access to healthcare before.

The economic situation varies between communities, but still 80% of the population lives on less than $1 a day. Still, Mercy Ministries is able to sell the VF100 at full price in urban areas. Families of 8-10 people are able to afford their own filter in some villages. In others, villages must share the filters between multiple families. Selling the filters for profit in the urban areas allows Mercy Ministries to provision filters for those living in poverty. Southern Madagascar especially has a lot of poverty and there is very severe famine – so much so that people will eat clay to survive. To create a sense of ownership in these communities, the team put a system into place where villages contribute what they can. They recognize that while each community faces a different economic situation, clean water is essential for the health of everyone.

Partner With Mercy Ministries

Mercy Ministries hopes to reach even more villages with clean water so that they can continue to improve the health of those communities moving forward. They know that these simple water filters are life-saving, but they still face the biggest challenge of cost. To meet their goals, they hope to find sponsors and develop a water filter business to raise funds. If you would like to partner with Mercy Ministries in their work to provide clean water to Madagascar, please visit their website. If you would like to reach additional communities with clean water, connect with us. We would love to provide you with water filters and coaching about how to develop a sustainable business.

en_USEnglish
× WhatsApp