One of Beacon Wealth Consultants’ positive impact themes that we have in our portfolios is clean water technology. In our July 2022 Impact Update, Beacon Wealth Consultants’ Chief Investment Officer Hillary Sunderland, CFA®, CKA® revisits the investment and humanitarian cases for clean water technology. Hillary also gives an exciting update on the well drilling project we began last year to which many of you generously donated.
Thank you for your partnership in this project! We hope you will be encouraged to hear about the impact clean water is having on a community because of your generosity.
Full transcript below.
Hi, I’m Hillary Sunderland and I’m the Chief Investment Officer at Beacon Wealth and LightPoint™ Portfolios and this is your July 2022 Impact Update.
At Beacon Wealth Consultants, we believe that how we earn our profits matters deeply. When you invest with us, not only do we exclude companies from your portfolio that are not in alignment with your values, but we also seek to invest in companies that have a positive social return.
For those clients who have been with us for at least a year, you may recall that last summer, one of my monthly videos was focused on a positive impact theme that we have in our portfolios, which is clean water technology. The investment case for clean water technology is quite clear.
Consider that of the world’s total water supply, 97% of it is salt water and of the 3% that is fresh water, approximately 68% of that is inaccessible because it’s locked up in polar ice caps and glaciers. That leaves only about 1% of Earth’s water as readily available for human use.
This means that water is a scarce resource, and we must manage it wisely. However, increased pollution, a change in climate, the dredging of water aquifers in unsustainable amounts and crumbling water infrastructure are just some of the challenges that we face. It’s estimated that half of the world’s population is expected to be living in water stressed areas by 2025. This presents a compelling case for investment in clean water technology as we seek to promote human flourishing through the investments that we make.
In the previous video I discussed not only the investment case for clean water technology but also the humanitarian case. Today, over 2.5 billion people in the world lack access to safely managed, clean drinking water. Of those that do have access to water, most of them have access only to contaminated water, which can carry pollution and infectious diseases.
Last summer, we decided to take our clean water efforts a step further and created a tangible way to relieve suffering, restore dignity, and bring hope to those living in some of the toughest places on earth.
We invited you to take part in a ministry opportunity with us. In partnership with Unto, the humanitarian arm of Cru, we started a campaign to drill a water well – to provide clean water, as well as ministry, to those in need. All gifts were matched dollar-for-dollar by Beacon Wealth with the goal of raising $15,000. Your generosity abounded, and the water well was funded by Thanksgiving of 2021.
I’m pleased to announce that in the spring of 2022, work began on drilling a new water well in western Africa in a predominantly Muslim area. A local church was chosen as the site for the water well given the proximity of the neighboring people, including a large Muslim population of mixed people groups. This church is located in a hostile area for Christians, and local authorities have attempted to close the church on several occasions. In order to protect this church and Unto’s ministry in this country, I need to keep the church’s exact location confidential for this video. However, for those of you who gave to this project and did not choose to remain anonymous when you gave, we will reach out to you shortly to provide additional details as to its location.
This church is located in an area where water is highly polluted and access to safe, clean water is scarce. Due to rapid population growth, overcrowding and congestion have resulted in sprawling shantytowns and slums with inadequate sanitation. Many water wells in the area are built on top of sewage drainage ditches, similar to the one in this picture, and it is estimated that over 65% of the population has E. Coli in their household drinking water. High nitrate levels are often found in the water from fertilizers, human and animal faeces. Almost 50% of the population is relying on contaminated water sources to meet their basic needs. Due to the poor water conditions, diarrhea is one of the leading causes of death for children under the age of five in this area.
Thanks to your generosity, families in this neighborhood now have access to clean, safe water. The leadership of this church is extremely grateful for your support. Because of this project, this new well is now serving a church congregation and about 500 residents in the surrounding neighborhood. The local church can tangibly demonstrate Christ’s love to their Muslim neighbors, by sharing this well. People who would never travel to a church before are now going there to have their basic needs met, and at the same time, are being exposed to the Gospel message – many for the first time. The safe, clean water, we have provided is not only saving lives, it is also helping accelerate the strategies of Unto’s local teams.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick update. Thank you for your partnership with Beacon Wealth and Unto. Together we have relived suffering, restored dignity, and revealed hope to people living in one of the toughest places on earth.
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