Today I am uniting with thousands of bloggers, from over 125 countries, to participate in Blog Action Day, and today’s topic is the global water crisis. The facts and statistics are daunting to say the least:
– African women walk over 40 billion hours each year carrying cisterns weighing up to 18 kilograms (39.68 lbs) to gather water, which is usually still not safe to drink.
– Every week, nearly 38,000 children under the age of 5 die from unsafe drinking water and unhygienic living conditions.
– Today, 2.5 billion people lack access to toilets, but many more have access to a cell phone.
– Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses.
– An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than a typical person in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.
These statistics are powerful but they are not what motivated me to participate in Blog Action Day. I chose to participate because I have seen with my own eyes the effects of this water crisis. I’ve held children who cannot remember the last time they had a drink of water, a bite to eat or a bath. I have walked alongside women who are traversing the difficult terrain to gather dirty, filthy water because that is all there is. I seen how the land can be ravaged by a drought.
Rather than tell you the stories today and share more statistics – I thought I would give you a view into the statistics. I’ve put together a slide show of some of the people I have met over the last couple of years who have been personally devastated by this water crisis.
This crisis is real and the affects are global. Take a minute, and think about what you would do if you had no idea when you would take your next drink, or bath. In some parts of Africa, the women walk 6 hours – one way – can you imagine spending the entire day fetching water? How would you work? How would you live? Did you know that a donation of as little as $25 to Water.org can give one person clean water for life?
|A digital slideshow by Smilebox|