Water is a basic human need.
Without it, survival is not possible. Yet, in 2018, more than 1 billion people still wake up each morning with zero access to clean water sources. This means that millions of vulnerable families around the world do not drink, cook, or bathe with clean water — a basic natural resource that we too often take for granted here at home.
Furthermore, there is a huge injustice in the developing world. For most rural schools and communities, access to clean water depends on outside NGOs (nonprofit organizations) purchasing or “giving” a well. However, there are millions of schools and communities that do not have access to nonprofit agencies or local government support. We must then ask ourselves: “How can we make water available for all?” Something must be done.
- Over 1 billion people outside the United States do not have access to clean, safe drinking water.
- 3.4 million people die each year from scarce and contaminated water sources.
- Millions of women and children spend several hours each day collecting water from distant and polluted sources.
- The time it takes to walk the average 3.7 miles for clean water is time not spent working at an income-generating job, caring for family members, or attending school.
- At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from diseases associated with lack of access to clean water.
Effects on Women & Children
A typical woman or child will walk an average 6 kilometers each day to fetch contaminated water which she knows will eventually kill 25% of her family. No parent should ever have to endure such an ill-fated scenario. During a random 20-year period of time, due to the enslaving task of fetching water, a woman is likely to:
- endure multiple bouts of malaria
- drop out of school
- become a child mother herself
- be beaten, injured, and/or raped
- suffer animal bites and countless infections
Despite her best efforts to save the lives of her family, a mother might lose several of her children and siblings to the effects of contaminated water that she brings home. For children, the chances of survival dwindle in the absence of clean water and essential sanitation. In fact, almost 6,000 children die of water related diseases each day. Young children are the first to get sick and die from waterborne and sanitation related illnesses, including diarrhea and malaria.