Splash Brings Clean Water to Every Orphanage in China

3 min readMar 20, 2018

More than 90,000 of China’s most vulnerable children now have access to clean water

Splash Founder and Executive Director Eric Stowe enjoying clean water with a child in a Chinese orphanage.

Splash, a Seattle-based, nonprofit organization providing water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions to children in urban Asia and Africa, today announced that 100 percent of orphanages in China have ultrafiltration systems to provide clean water — a huge milestone ten years in the making.

After a decade of hard work and close collaboration with the Chinese government and local non-government organizations (NGOs), over 190,000 vulnerable children, elderly adults, and staff at over 1,100 orphanages have consistent access to clean, safe water.

These orphanages span 32 provinces, across China’s 3.7 million square miles, from Shanghai to Xinjiang and Tibet to Inner Mongolia.

“Working in China ten years ago, the stark inequity in urban areas was shocking. Hotels and restaurants were serving filtered water to their customers, but across the street, children at poor schools and orphanages were drinking unclean water from the tap,” said Eric Stowe, Founder and Executive Director of Splash. “We believe that access to clean water is a basic human right and matter of social justice.”

Thanks to the commitment of the Chinese government, NGOs, corporate partners, generous donors, and the local Splash team, every orphanage in China now has clean water to drink, improving the overall quality of life for over 90,000 children.

In China, orphanages and homes for the elderly are often co-located in the same facility. As a result, Splash is also serving clean water to over 58,000 elderly, as well as more than 41,000 staff.

Poor water quality and inadequate sanitation are leading causes of disease and malnutrition, especially for children. Where most water-focused organizations are focused on bringing clean water to rural areas, Splash is one of the leading organizations focused on urban settings. The United Nations predicts that by 2030, the global population will increase to 8.5 billion, and by 2050, 75 percent of the world’s population will be in urban cities, with growth centering in developing countries. This explosive change creates a dire need to improve critical water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services and infrastructure now.

“The need here is very real,” said George Russell, founder of Russell Investments. “I’ve invested in this organization for years. I am proud of their work, and more importantly, the results.”

Splash’s work to improve WASH services in major cities in Asia and Africa supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal Six (SDG 6) to ensure universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, for all by 2030. The work is targeted on kids and schools, as they are access points for influencing parents, families, and communities.

“Over the past several years, the Chinese government has prioritized improving the policies and practices around domestic adoption, foster care, and orphanage management,” said Hailan Qi, director of China at Splash. “The collaboration with local governments in each of the 32 provinces has been critical to our work to bring clean water to more than 1,100 orphanages around the country.”

Splash’s work in China does not stop with 100 percent coverage. This year, the organization is continuing sustainability planning to keep clean water flowing at all of the Chinese orphanages over the long-term. Outside of China, Splash has a goal to reach 100 percent of government school children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Kathmandu, Nepal; and Kolkata, India with clean water, clean hands and clean toilets, benefitting one million children by 2022.

For Splash, this is just the beginning. They believe every child should have access to clean water, not just today, but every day.

About Splash

Splash is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 focused on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) solutions for children in urban Asia and Africa. They work in some of the fastest growing cities in the world, where they focus on child-serving institutions including schools, orphanages, shelters, and hospitals to help kids lead healthier lives. To date, Splash has completed over 1,700 projects across eight countries in Asia and Africa (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Vietnam and Thailand), serving more than 400,000 children. Ultimately, Splash aims to use schools as an access point to reach families and communities, improving WASH services for the urban poor. To learn more about Splash, visit www.splash.org or follow them on Twitter at @splash_org or Facebook @splashglobal.




Clean water, clean hands, clean toilets, and menstrual health support for kids in urban poverty — co-developed with local governments.