“Water is the driving force of all nature” – Leonardo Da Vinci
It is no secret that we often fail to give credit to the most powerful, important and necessary sources of life. We sometimes neglect all those things that are truly important, our family and loved ones included. We often forget that they are not things that everyone is lucky enough to have, and we feel entitled to those things. On this occasion I would like to talk about the luxury water is.
In 2010 water and sanitation were recognized as a human right by the UN, and they were declared a prerequisite for the fulfillment of other human rights. Human rights by definition are the rights we have simply for being human, but if not all humans have them, they become rights for an exclusive amount of humans. Human rights are universal or they are nothing, and as we see in this case in which 663 million people have no access to safe water, they are not universal. This makes up 1/10 of the world population. So while you enjoy an endless flow of water from you tap someone else is missing the opportunity to get an education in order to walk for miles to find some water (often not safe).
How many times a day do you flush your toilet? at least 6-7 times on an average day. But did you know that two thirds of the world population doesn’t have a toilet to flush? This for a lot of people means they have to find other ways to do their necessities and in many cases this means a lack of dignity for people. In my opinion everybody deserves a dignified life, what do you think?
The Facts About the Water Crisis:
- The 3rd leading cause of child death is diarrhea, a majority of which is water-related.
- 1/3 of all schools lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation.
- Every 90 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease.
- Women and girls spend 6 hours each day collecting water.
- At least one million people are killed by water, sanitation and hygiene-related disease each year.
- 260 billion dollars are lost globally each year due to lack of safe water and sanitation.
As we can see the lack of water affects everybody, but women and children are the most direct victims. The economy is also impacted significantly as a result of this crisis.
A Women Crisis
Women are disproportionately affected by the water crisis, as they are often responsible for collecting water. This takes time away from work, school and caring for family. Lack of water and sanitation lock women in a cycle of poverty.
Empowering women is critical to solving the water crisis. Involving women can make water projects 6 to 7 more times effective. When women have access to safe water, they can pursue skills outside of their traditional roles and experience greater autonomy and independence.
A Health Crisis
The water crisis is a health crisis. Access to safe water and sanitation means opportunity for improved health and the ability to help fight disease. Access to safe water means improved health for women and girls who no longer have to delay finding a place to go. It means reduced child and maternal mortality rates. It means increased dignity and reduced psychological stress for girls and women. It means reduced physical injury from constant lifting and carrying heavy loads of water. And it means reduced risk of rape, sexual assault and increased safety as women and girls do not have to go to remote and dangerous places to relieve themselves.
A Children’s and Education Crisis
Children are often responsible for collecting water to help their families. This takes time away from school and play. Access to safe water and sanitation changes this. Reductions in time spent collecting water have been found to increase school attendance. Access to safe water gives children time to play and opportunity for a bright future.
An Economic Crisis
Time spent gathering water or seeking safe sanitation accounts for billions in lost economic opportunities. Access to safe water and sanitation turns time spent into time saved, giving families more time to pursue education and work opportunities that will help break the cycle of poverty.
Now that we understand the crisis a little bit better, how can we contribute to change the situation of our fellow human beings? I have looked at many different organizations but for a while I have liked the way water.org works. Having helped over 6 million people in the last 25 years, water.org continues their brilliant WaterCredit program that consists in empowering women and families with small loans to create an access to safe water for all their necessities. I truly believe that their micro-financing techniques are a good solution and I want to contribute to make sure more people are able to obtain these loans and change their situation. We have the opportunity to help break the cycle of poverty for millions of people!
I am starting a fundraiser for water.org, please help me reach my goal by donating (even a dollar) to this worthy cause.
link to fundraiser: http://give.water.org/fundraiser/5148/#
Thank you so much for reading (and hopefully for donating) I am sure you will be of much good to the world.
Love, Knowledge Empress