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sanitation

Picture of Yereth Rosen
Faced with daunting gaps in water and sewer systems, some Alaska Native communities are thinking small.
Picture of Yereth Rosen
Many residents of rural Alaska suffer higher rates of illnesses because they lack basic infrastructure.
Picture of Yereth Rosen
It includes $230 million for an EPA water grant program in Alaska, as well as money for climate resilience — some of which is designated for community relocation.
Picture of Yereth Rosen
The bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the U.S. Senate includes $3.5 billion for water and sanitation, some of which will go to rural Alaska villages.
Picture of Anna Maria Barry-Jester
The outbreak in California, the largest since the U.S. started tracking hepatitis A, lays bare the fact that homelessness can be as much a cause of disease as the virus itself.
Picture of Angela Hart

In California's Sonoma County, an alarming number of tenants live in housing so run down that it poses a risk to their health and safety. For Karla Orozco's family, the hazards included mold, rats and cockroaches, a broken heater, and sewage backups.

Picture of Joaqlin Estus

In communities without running water and flush toilets, 11 times more children develop pneumonia than other Alaskans, and some develop complications that can lead to lifelong respiratory problems.

Picture of Joaqlin Estus

What if you didn’t have piped water and sewer, and the government wasn’t picking up the tab to extend such resources to you in rural Alaska? How would you go about finding a low-cost system that you could keep running through the winter?

Picture of Joaqlin Estus

You don't have to go to a foreign country to find Third World conditions. You can find more than six percent of Alaskans living in those conditions — without modern running water or sewer systems.

Picture of Joaqlin Estus

Using a bucket as a toilet, hauling water or chopping ice to melt for daily use are daily facts of life for thousands of Alaska natives. Meanwhile, the state is flush with cash, prompting the question of why such conditions persist.

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Our California Impact Fund offers mentorship and support to reporters who think big and want to make a difference in their communities through investigative or explanatory reporting on promising approaches to chronic ills. 

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