Around 2 billion people lack access to clean water and 4000 children die daily from waterborne disease. While many water charities struggle to obtain donations by asking nicely, UNICEF has tried a different approach. Last Friday, the organization set up colorful vending machines in Manhattan’s Union Square to raise awareness. Not just any vending machines. These contained bottles of dirty water, each one labeled with the name of a different disease, including cholera, dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis. The bottles were sold for a donation of $1, which UNICEF claims is enough to provide a child with safe water for 40 days. Each machine also displayed a mobile phone number to which people could text a donation.
UNICEF produced a promotional video about the campaign. At the end, one girl asks which bottle will give her a tapeworm and make her lose weight… obviously the organization still has a long way to go in this campaign. Do you think their shock and awe methods will work better than those of other water charities?