Water For People strives to put sustainable end to water poverty

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DENVER, CO, March 25, 2010 -- Water For People (www.waterforpeople.org) announced today their 2009 results, unveiled their 2010-2014 strategic plan along with new branding, and, most importantly detailed their ambitious plans to transform the sector by becoming a role model on how to measure success in the Water and Sanitation arena. The Denver-based international developmental organization is calling for fundamental change in how the sector operates. This approach leads to true sustainability verses the cycle of dependency that plagues so many other well-meaning but ultimately unsuccessful efforts.

"It is no surprise they are taking ambitious steps to improve their own organization as well as the entire industry," said Stephen Rosenthal, philanthropist and CEO of Strategic Comp. "Their visionary approach goes beyond just counting how many people have services that first year; it places greater emphasis on how long those systems last, if they are truly sustainable in future years. I think this innovative approach is the only one that will work long-term to solve the water and sanitation crisis in developing countries. But since it goes contrary to what is standard and expected, I suspect they are ruffling a few feathers along the way."

Water For People works in districts and municipalities in India, Africa, and Central and South America where their goal is to provide total, sustainable coverage of water and sanitation needs in all communities schools, and clinics. They leverage their finances by insisting that communities and local government contribute financially to their water and sanitation solutions; this creates enduring, stable cultures of payment for value rather than short-term, unreliable dependency.

"We are shifting focus and energies towards making sure that every community we support continues to have flowing water in the future -- not just on the day it was first provided. We will commit to showing that these systems are still operational 3, 6, and 10 years later," explained Edward Breslin, Water For People CEO. "That's our vision; a world in which all people have access to safe drinking water and are free from sanitation-related disease."

That overarching vision is reflected in their just released 2010-2014 strategic goals:

• Achieve total sustainable water sanitation and hygiene coverage in at least two regions in each country where Water For People works.
• Demonstrate increases in government counterpart funding for water supply and sanitation in all the regions where we work with at least five examples of government providing over 50% of the hardware.
• Focus on sustainable areas verses number of people served or beneficiaries.
• Demonstrate that Water For People can move from a direct facilitation role to a mentoring role in at least one country by 2014.

These goals may seem ambitious but Water For People's track record speaks for itself. In 2009, Water For People surpassed its toughest 2007- 2011 goals two years ahead of schedule. including doubling its reach worldwide. They started up programs in six new countries including Rwanda, Uganda, and the Dominican Republic. Even with this growth, Water For People continues to demonstrate operational excellence and fiscal accountability. For the seventh consecutive year, Charity Navigator, America's leading charity evaluator, has awarded Water For People its highest rating of four out of four stars.

Many of these principles were hinted at in Breslin's essay, "Hydro-philanthropy," which has become a viral success since its publication in February 2010. http://www.waterforpeople.org/hydrophilanthropy

About Water For People
Founded in 1991, Water For People is an international, nonprofit humanitarian organization that focuses on long-lasting, safe drinking water resources and improved sanitation facilities in the developing world. While Water For People is in its 20th year of work it focuses not on creating a dependency on charity in the 11 countries it works in, but rather creating the ability of the local community to plan, build, finance, maintain and operate their own systems. The organization works in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America to show that its successful programs are adaptable around the world and can be replicated anywhere. In 2009 it served over 325,000 beneficiaries. Water for People is a charity of choice of the American water and wastewater community. For more information, visit www.waterforpeople.org.

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