Bangladesh Water Tour | The Power of Community Organizing

Last week Water1st staff and donors returned from a visit to our project communities in Bangladesh. We are grateful for the warm welcome from the people living in the slum settlements of Dhaka, Chittagong, and Khulna and for the hospitality of our extraordinary local partner, DSK (Dushtha Shasthya Kendra). We thank them for the curry […]

Bangladesh site visit | Breaking the cycle of poverty

We recently visited Bangladesh to evaluate our projects in the urban slums of Dhaka and Chittagong. We are always thankful for the chance to connect with our colleagues abroad and to see how our projects are changing lives. Below are a few highlights from our visit. Breaking the Cycle of Poverty—Girls like Isra can go […]

Ribbon cuttings & tortillas | Honduras site visit

Last week’s visit to Honduras was packed with activities and milestones.We are very proud to share the extraordinary work of our local partner, COCEPRADIL. Here’s what our non-stop week added up to: 10 travelers from Portland, Phoenix, and Seattle. 9 beautiful sunsets in the rugged and isolated mountains of western Honduras. 12 water system inaugurations. 39 new water system […]

IT’S WORLD WATER DAY! Take What You Love & Turn it into Water

TODAY IS WORLD WATER DAY! Take What You Love and Turn it into Water In honor of World Water Day we celebrate our supporters who have turned what they love into water! You have biked, run, climbed mountains, quilted, pledged your birthdays and bar mitzvahs, baked, and sold lemonAID. What do YOU love? The Sellars […]

Ethiopia Water Tour 2016

Thank you to the people of Ethiopia―especially our partner Water Action and the communities of Dawo Kara and Dima Jeliwan―for your gracious hospitality. Thank you for the delicious buna (coffee) and injera bread, and for opening your homes and sharing your lives with 31 Americans. We are proud to call you colleagues and friends. It […]

Water1st International & Seattle Reign FC Form Partnership to Reduce Water Access Challenges for World’s Poorest

The Water1st Ethiopia Water Tour departs February 12. Travelers, including Seattle Reign FC players and Water1st Global Fellows, will experience the water crisis firsthand and meet the people and projects we support. Seattle – Water1st International is excited to announce a new partnership with professional women’s soccer team Seattle Reign FC. In addition to announcing the new partnership, Water1st […]

Water1st Middle School Board Member Travels to Ethiopia

Max is a 7th grader at Bush School. In February 2014 he and his mom traveled to Ethiopia with Water1st. The experience gave him a new perspective. “It was an amazing experience in so many ways. I got to see, smell, taste, and hear things that I’d never experienced before. But what really has stayed […]

Why We Like Pipes

[Above photo: The new piped water system in Gonbisa Kusaye, Ethiopia significantly reduces the time women and girls spend collecting water, allowing them to redirect that time to other activities, such as farming, earning an income or going to school] Water1st’s approach is essentially built around answering one question: What does a poor Ethiopian woman […]


Just two weeks ago, Water1st staff was in Honduras visiting old and new projects, as well as communities in need of water systems. The visit was inspiring. Each community displayed a strength of spirit, an incredible commitment to hard work, and an ability to organize themselves and remain organized years later. And over and over […]


Over thirty Seattle youth have joined a Water1st Middle School or High School Board. Their goals are lofty; their energy levels high; their talents great. We believe that more lives will be transformed by clean water if we take the time to develop youth ambassadors. Students will learn more about the water crisis; accrue service learning hours; understand […]


A Party of Happiness Our final stop on our January 2014 site visit was to the community of El Portillo El Paraiso (Gateway to Paradise) to see the progress they have made constructing their new water system. They have worked on the project every day and have progressed faster and further than than they expected. […]


Helping older water systems expand During our site visits over the past few years, we have encountered many older water systems that are functioning very well, but would like to expand their services to more people. In the United States when this happens, utilities are able to access credit, and users pay off these loans […]


We Teach You How to Fish Our January 2014 trip to Honduras included a visit to the Chimisal projects, three water systems completed in 2010 that serve four communities total – Tierra Colorada, Plan de Gallinero, San Antonio, and La Loma. We met with representatives of the four communities currently served by the water system, as […]

San Bartolo and Capuca projects under construction

We visited the communities of San Bartolo and Capuca, who together are building a single water system to serve both communities. All 100 families have worked hard and fast to construct this large project which contains about 11 miles of pipeline, all trenched by hand in just six months. They expect to complete construction and […]

Rosa & Manual enjoying clean water in their home

We started our Honduras visit in Agua Caliente, a project that was completed in 2008. After meeting with community members and enjoying a home-made chicken dinner with beans and tortillas (a theme of the week), we visited Manuel and Rosa at their home. We think the water system in Agua Caliente is going to last […]

Water 1st on NBC’s TODAY Show!

Marla Smith-Nilson, founder and executive director of Water 1st appeared on NBC’s Today Show with SELF magazine editor in chief Lucy Danziger and Scandal’s Katie Lowes. Marla traveled to New York to receive the SELF Magazine 2013 WOMEN DOING GOOD award. SELF magazine called Smith-Nilson ‘The Lifesaver’ for her work bringing water and sanitation solutions […]