World Water Day falls on March 22nd, 2014. It is not really a day we celebrate, but a day of awareness. The lack of water affects women and children in many ways, all of them negatively. These are the cold, hard facts:
- 768 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in ten of the world’s population.
- Around 700,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation – that’s almost 2,000 children a day.
- Every year, around 60 million children are born into homes without access to sanitation.
- Half the hospital beds in developing countries are filled with people suffering from diseases caused by poor water, sanitation and hygiene.
- Lack of water, sanitation and hygiene costs Sub-Saharan African countries more in lost GDP than the entire continent gets in development aid.
- Women in Africa and Asia often carry water on their heads weighing over 40 lbs., the weight of an American four-year-old child.
- Since 1981 we have reached 19.2 million people with safe water. (Source for these facts- WaterAid)
WaterAid America wants you to share your Water Story – a time when you did not have access to water, or a clean bathroom. Did it happen during a natural disaster, such as a tornado, earthquake, or hurricane? When I was a child, a water main broke near my home. Besides no drinking water, we could not use the toilet or take showers. There were no bottled water back then. And using the toilet was an experience unto itself. Thank goodness my parents took care of that. Within a few days, they sent us off to family so we didn’t have to go through this disgusting and unsafe situation.
But for those in developing nations, this is what they go through every day. They can get water, but it is a feat. And mostly women and girls are the one who gather water in large, heavy containers.
There are ways to make a difference in this cause. WaterAid is an experienced nonprofit who works with women affected with lack of water to get their opinions and put it into work. Of course, donations help a great deal. And advocating for the Water for World Act before the end of the year is vital.
The Social Good Moms and Mom Bloggers for Social Good has partnered with Jennifer Barbour to visit Nicaragua to see firsthand WaterAid’s work and to share this information on her blog. Take the time to read her stories.
Be an advocate by sharing your Water Story #waterstory, tweeting Jennifer’s blog posts using #WaterAidNica, making a donation to WaterAid and asking congress for support for the Water for the World Act.
We can make a difference!
As a member of the Global Team of 200, I am honored to share my personal opinion and information about World Water Day.