Diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year worldwide, and is of the second leading cause of death for children under age five.
Haiti has been a microcosm for all that could go wrong in the advancement of human potential. Before the country was ravaged by an earthquake, it was ravaged by a nonexistent educational system and no sanitation system whatsoever.
USAID just announced its investment in mWater, a non-profit tech startup, whose phone app can instantly test and analyze water quality from local sources and share this information on their global, open-source water monitoring database.
Many consider ongoing change as fundamental for economic success, but what happens when innovation is hard to envision, let alone implement? And what if innovation needs to overcome deeply rooted social and economic divides?
Whether it be rope pumps or rainwater harvesting systems or sand dams, technological solutions must be paired with education and investment by local community members in order for projects to be sustainable.
In Mozambique, diarrhea is one of the leading causes of child deaths and 44% of children under five are undernourished. Increased investment in providing access to safe water and improved sanitation dramatically impacts child survival.
Unfortunately, 783 million people -- 11 percent of the global population -- still have no access to clean water. For context, that is more than two and a half times the population of the United States.
More people in the world now have a mobile phone than have a toilet. As we celebrate International Women's Day on March eighth, let's not forget that girls and women suffer the most from lack of sanitation.