Jump to Content or Main Navigation

Scenic images from the field

Peace Corps Recognizes World Water Day

Peace Corps Volunteers Worldwide Create Solutions for Water Shortages

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 22, 2012 In recognition of World Water Day, Peace Corps volunteers worldwide work alongside people in their local communities to address water shortages and find creative solutions to collect this precious resource. Today, 13 percent of volunteers work in the environment sector.

To address the adverse impact of water and food shortages in the countries they serve, many volunteers work on projects ranging from fish farming and the introduction of small-scale irrigation systems to improved food processing and marketing of food. They also help address resource availability through building water pumps, school gardens, developing agricultural microenterprises, and educating others about proper nutrition.

One recent example is Peace Corps health volunteer Nicholas Karr of Tigard, Ore., in Vanuatu who is working with the local community and the government of Vanuatu to build a gravity-fed water system for the village of 500 people.

In order to improve the health situation in the village, mass infrastructure change must take place. With this new water system, the community will have the chance to improve the health of the whole community, said Karr, a Western Oregon University graduate who arrived in Vanuatu in September 2010. Access to clean water is a human right and a necessity for good health. The communitys ability to meet their long-term goal of improved health and reduced incidence of disease is conditional upon consistent access to clean water.

A portion of the funds for the new water system are being raised through the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP), a program that supports Peace Corps volunteer community projects worldwide. To donate to Karrs project, visit www.peacecorps.gov/donate. Karrs project number is: 461-050.

Peace Corps volunteers in Senegal are also working to improve access to water. Volunteers Marcie Todd of Citrus Heights, Calif., and Garrison Harward of Ojai, Calif., are installing 52 water pumps over the course of a year in villages across the country. To see more about their project, click here.

About Peace Corps/Senegal: More than 3,190 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Senegal since the program was established in 1963. Currently, 254 volunteers serve in Senegal. Volunteers work in the areas of agriculture, environment, health and business. Volunteers are trained and work in the following languages: French, Wolof, Pulaar du Nord, Fulakunda, Pulafuta, Seereer, Malinke, Mandinka and Jaxanke.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agencys mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

Peace Corps RSS Feeds

Get Peace Corps headlines delivered in real-time from the Peace Corps RSS feed.

Peace Corps Digital Library