Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Water We Thinking?!

This past summer, my little sister spent 3 weeks on a mission trip in Tanzania. Among other beautiful--albeit heartbreaking--stories that she told upon returning, she blurted out: "We don't even realize how lucky we are to have clean water."

My sister's water comment left me stunned. I brush my teeth in the morning, and there is clean water. I make my coffee, and there is clean water.  I take a shower, and there is clean--and hot--water.

I have never worried that this water would stop flowing out of my faucet.  Never fretted over if there would be enough water when I needed to do my laundry. And I've never had to walk farther than my kitchen sink to have water for cooking [meaning mixing water with a box of mac and cheese].

So I started exploring this concept of clean water, and I was dumbfounded. Isn't access to clean water the most basic human right??


Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water related illness. 2

Girls are often forced to collect water instead of going to school. In fact, women spend 200 million hours a day collecting water. 2

Poor sanitation often causes water supplies to become contaminated with diseases. 2

This contaminated water is responsible for 80 percent of diseases in the developing world. 1

Nearly 1 in 9 people lack access to an improved water source. 2

The leading cause of human sickness and death is water-related illness. 1

Get Involved:
Appreciate what you have and don't waste your resources. 
Try using a reusable water bottle for a week. 
Become an advocate. Use your voice to spread awareness!
Conserve your water usage (a 5 minute American shower uses more water than a day's worth of water usage for an average person in a developing country slum)1
Get an inside look. Follow a community as they attempt to access safe water. 
Make a donation.
Hold a fundraiser at your school or in your community. 

Great Resources:

What else can you do to help? Feel free to blog suggestions below! 

"Every $1 spent on water and sanitation generates a return of $9 in saved time, increased productivity and reduced health costs in Africa.
-- United Nations Development Program" 1

1. The Facts About the Global Drinking Water Crisis. Blue Planet Network. Web. 18 September 2012. 
2.  Water Facts: Water. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. Web. 18 September 2012. 

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Our Mission at Active Handprint is to inspire actions that help to meet the basic needs of all human beings--to be fed, to be clothed, to have shelter, to be respected and to be safe.