Give Children Access to Safe Drinking Water

Target: Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks

Goal: Donate money from Starbucks’ Ethos Clean Water Fund to guarantee children in South Sudan access to potable water.

South Sudan is experiencing a water and sanitation crisis of unprecedented scale. One in three people do not have access to clean water. Less than half of South Sudan’s 3,349 primary schools are able to provide children with clean drinking water. Worse, only 17 percent of primary schools have enough sanitary latrines for all the children, increasing the risk of disease spreading throughout the school.

Diseases caused by contaminated water and poor sanitation are rampant in South Sudan. One third of all children under 5 suffer from diarrhea, which has a massive impact on their health and development. In developed countries, diarrhea is usually not a serious condition, but in countries like South Sudan, diarrheal diseases like cholera can kill a child in a matter of days. South Sudan is also one of the last countries where dracunculiasis still exists. This disease, also called Guinea worm disease, is contracted by consuming water contaminated with Guinea worm larvae. Over the course of months, these larvae grow into worms that are two to three feet long. Once it reaches maturity, the worm emerges from the body and must be slowly pulled out over several days, causing excruciating pain.

Although all children suffer from lack of access to clean water, girls are especially harmed by this water crisis. In a given household, it is generally the responsibility of girls under 15 to fetch water for the family. Often, they must walk up to four hours to fetch water, which leaves little time for other activities. Indeed, girls being needed at home is one of the main reasons why they are forced to drop out of school. In South Sudan, only one in three girls are able to consistently attend school. Access to water is key for the health of girls, but also for their ability to get an education and raise themselves out of poverty.

Sign this petition to urge Starbucks’ Ethos Clean Water Fund to contribute to water and sanitation efforts in South Sudan.


Dear Mr. Johnson,

We applaud Starbucks’ Ethos Clean Water Fund for granting $12.3 million to support water and sanitation efforts in developing countries. We ask that you turn your attention to South Sudan’s water crisis, which is disproportionately affecting South Sudanese children, especially girls, who often spend the majority of their day fetching water.

There are many nonprofits seeking to improve access to water for South Sudanese children. Building water delivery pipelines in cities and drilling wells in rural areas could dramatically reduce deaths from waterborne diseases and increase the number of girls able to attend schools. The solutions to the water crisis are straightforward and it is only the lack of funding for these nonprofits which keeps them from building as many pipelines and wells as South Sudan needs. We ask that you and the members of Starbucks’ Clean Water Fund provide funding to help end South Sudan’s water crisis.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: European Commission DG ECHO

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  1. Give All Access to Safe Drinking Water Global.

  2. Mongoose Jones says:



  4. People need clean water to live!

  5. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & shared

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