This Friday, March 22, is World Water Day – a day delegated by the United Nations to recognize the importance and need of safe water around the world. In honor of this important day, I am thrilled to be working with the Global Team of 200 and WaterAid to help raise awareness of the desperate need for safe drinking water and sanitation around the world. Safe water and sanitation transforms lives and is one of the keys to bringing people out of poverty.
Water is just the beginning because… it helps build a more prosperous future. For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of $4 is returned in increased productivity, thanks to time saved and better health. Photo Credit: WaterAid.
Did you know that 783 million people do not have access to safe drinking water?
Step back and think about this statistic for a moment. What would you do if you were not able to simply turn on your faucet and fill up your glass or pot with clean, safe water?
Until recently, Ayelech, a 22-year-old mother of two living in Lehayte, Ethiopia spent over two hours a day searching for water and carrying it home in two large jerry cans on her back. She gave birth to her second child Oytiba while on the side of river filling her cans. Photo credit: WaterAid.
What would you do if you had to spend an hour or two each and every day fetching clean drinking water?
With a safe water source close to home, people in the world’s poorest countries have a lot more time and water to cultivate crops, saving money and improving their diets at the same time. Photo credit: WaterAid.
How would you manage? How would you live your life? And more importantly, how would you care for your family?
School-age children spent their days scrambling up narrow rocky trails, carrying home dirty water instead of going to school. Photo Credit: WaterAid.
To most of us in the Western world, the thought of not having instant access to clean, safe drinking water is literally unimaginable. However, for 11 % of the world’s population, this is a tragic reality. When you combine having unsafe drinking water with poor sanitation, it leads to diarrhea which kills 2,000 children every single day. Something completely unthinkable to many of us.
Every day, millions of women walk miles to fetch water, often carrying a child too. When the child gets too heavy to carry, they are left at home, often unsupervised. Photo credit: WaterAid.
Millions of people are trapped in a world in which clean, fresh and safe water is not even a remote option and has led to dire consequences. Preventable deaths and diseases, wasted time spent fetching water each day, lack of access for girls to education due to no adequate sanitation, and lower economic output for the nations without safe water and sanitation. Not having safe water or sanitation keeps people trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty with little chance of escape.
Water really is just the beginning…..these children are thrilled with their recently constructed toilet that provides them with good sanitation and privacy. Safe water really helps keep girls in school too. Photo credit: WaterAid.
But there is hope as the problem of unsafe drinking water is entirely solvable.
This Friday, join WaterAid and the Global Team of 200 to help spread the word about global water poverty. There are a variety of ways you can participate in this day and help spread awareness.
How you can help:
- Follow WaterAid on Twitter and Facebook and share our posts on the #20ways that water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty. Also follow along with the Twitter has tag #WorldWaterDay 2013 for the latest news.
- Join the World Water Day Google+ Hangout at 1.30pm EST/ 5:30PM GMT on Friday, March 22 at http://ow.ly/iZCdj – WaterAid and other leading water organizations (such as +charity: water, +Water.org, +Water For People, +People Water) will be discussing the world water crisis and solutions in a celebration moderated by YouTube star Justine Ezarik and WaterAid America’s Head of Policy and Advocacy, Lisa Schechtman (@LSchecht).
- Make a donation: as experts in practical, hands-on water solutions WaterAid has brought clean water to 17.5 million people. But we need your help to achieve our aim of helping 1.4 million more people this year.
Please also watch WaterAid’s beautiful video “Water is Just the beginning” and share it.
Lives are transformed when hours spent carrying water are instead spent with family, tending crops, raising livestock or starting a business. Simple access to water, toilets, and hygiene education keeps families healthy, women and girls safe, and children in school. In communities around the world, WaterAid has helped 17.5 million people take the first steps out of poverty.
Together we can make the world a better place!
Photo credit: WaterAid.
Visit www.wateraidamerica.org/worldwaterday for all the latest World Water Day news. To learn more about WaterAid’s work and statistics, please click here.