Think about the first thing you did this morning. Did you brush your teeth, shower, or have a cup of coffee? Chances are, it had something to do with water, something we don’t put any more thought into because it is readily available, but what if it wasn’t? Unfortunately, that is the reality for almost a BILLION people. That is 1 out of every 9 people, or twice the population of the U.S. So why water? For people in developing countries, clean water changes everything.
Water can create a powerful ripple effect. By giving water, we can give back time. In Africa alone, women and young girls spend 40 billion hours each year walking to collect contaminated water. On a worldwide scale, that is 200 million hours a day… Having access to clean water gives them the opportunity to spend more time in school, grow food which provides them an income, all of which can help break the cycle of poverty.
Empowering women and children is a critical component in solving the water crisis. When a community gets access to safe water, they can pursue more than collecting water and their traditional roles. They can start their own businesses, improve their household, and take charge of their futures.
Do you know what kills more people in a year more than all forms of violence including war? Water born diseases. 43% of those deaths are children under five years old. Can you imagine almost half of your family, friends, and loved ones not making it past being 5? Access to clean water and basic sanitation can save around 16,000 lives every week.
So how can we help tackle the water crisis? There are plenty of ways to get creative! You can host an event and party with a purpose. You can sell lemonade, run a marathon, sell your unwanted clothes and contribute the profits to your favorite organization. The possibilities are endless!
I have partnered with my friends over at LoveWaterOrg.We are doing a #DirtyBottle challenge where we encourage you to carry around a contaminated water bottle for the day to remind you how often you get thirsty. Take a picture and tag (@lovewaterorg) to help spread the awareness. Give $5 or grab some awesome merch and you can help a family get clean water for an entire year! I am doing a giveaway where if you take a picture of your donation of $5 or more, I will enter you in a drawing to win something from their merch collection. A simple act of kindness can change lives and statistics!
Photo credits – Karen Vierbuchen – Copyrighted by LoveWaterOrg.
- World Health Organization and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme. (2017). Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation, 2017 Update and MDG Assessment.