If you are within a few steps of clean, potable drinking water, you are among the world’s richest and luckiest inhabitants.
Because, you see,African people – mostly made up of women and children – spend 40 billion hours a year walking to access water. They carry jerry cans – much as you would keep in your truck for extra gasoline – on their backs, fill them up with water, and head out. They walk miles to the nearest water source – a water source that is unprotected and causes them to get sick. The routes are unprotected, and women are more subject to sexual harassment and assault because of these long journeys.
They don’t have the Clean Water Act that we have here in America. The water they are able to access makes them prone to Salmonella, Hepatitis A and other diseases and infections. They don’t have a water bill – they don’t even have faucets – and yet they walk miles, spending time away from their families, schoolwork and other community-building activities to do what is needed to access water.
Currently, approximately 1 billion people are without access to clean drinking water. That’s one in every eight people. Of the approximately 42,000 deaths that occur each week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions, 90 percent are children under five years old.
The sad thing is that right now we DO have enough clean water to go around, it just isn’t being distributed properly. We need to make clean water access a priority for others in this world. Lack of access to drinking water is directly linked to poverty, violence and gender inequality.
Take a few minutes today to visit the many bloggers who are participating with me in Blog Action Day. There you will find thousands of folk just like me who see access to clean, potable water as something we all need to take action on.
While you’re at it, visit charity: water to read more facts about water shortage and to get involved. I’m making a donation of $20 to give clean water to one person for the next 20 years. I hope you will join me.