Today is World Water Day and it has been given this distinction so that for at least one day the world might consider just how many of its inhabitants do not have clean water at their disposal. The stats are actually pretty shocking and for those of us who have the luxury of simply walking a few feet to the nearest faucet and running as much water as we like, it needs to be a wake up call. For world water day I want to highlight three organizations doing something to address this global crisis and they are doing a wonderful job via social media to reach those of us who don’t actually realize just how much we should care about this issue. 10,000 people are dying each day (2000 of those are children) because they don’t have clean water and here in the west we like to wax poetic about not letting it run while we brush our teeth.
WaterAid is an organization I have written about before and which I have donated to before. They have some great info on their site as well as great articles on why water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty. You can also subscribe to their emails and stay up to date with what they are doing and any volunteer opportunities they have available.
According to one article there are millions of people who walk an average of 3.7 miles to collect water each day. This results in over 200 million hours spent collecting water each day. Can you even imagine having to travel over three miles to get water to wash with or drink? Can you imagine not having a clean and safe place to go to the bathroom each day? I am horrified at the thought and yet this is reality for so many people around the world. It needs to be horrifying that we are not doing something more to remedy this. 2.5 million people in developing countries do not have access to improved sanitation, like toilets. 3.4 million die each year from water, sanitation and hygiene related causes. Every time we take a seat on the toilet we are experiencing a great luxury and we may not even realize it.
Another organization mobilizing for water aid is Matt Damon’s charity Water.org. I am a big fan of his already but I especially love what he is doing to bring awareness to this particular issue. I still love his toilet protest video from long ago. Seriously, kiss your toilet and donate a few bucks. It really is the least we can do.
If you want to donate some money today and/or help with their mission in some way to help improve water access for all, these two organizations are good places to start.