(Hey, the folks at water.org do a great job of bringing clean water to people who really need it, here’s a bit in the words of Gary White, their Executive Director & Co-founder.)
Today is World Water Day. It’s a day to draw attention to the outrageous fact that one in eight people lack access to safe drinking water – and two in five people don’t have a sanitary toilet. These two deficits are the leading cause of disease and death in the world. Children are the primary victims. Diarrhea, directly caused by unsafe drinking water or unsanitary conditions, is the second leading cause of child death. These deaths are completely preventable.
This is the good news: we know how to bring people clean water. Solutions are simple, affordable, and readily available. Together, we can end this crisis. In fact, we’re already on our way. Two hundred million people have gained access to clean water since the Millennium Development Goals were established eleven years ago.
Take for instance Laili, a woman in Bangladesh who joined a microcredit program to finance her own connection to the municipal water system. Or the men of Guatincara, Honduras who contributed months of labor to construct a community water system. And finally in Haiti, people in the Artibonite region who elected their own local water committees to lead in getting wells drilled. In each of these cases organizations like Water.org helped with clearing barriers, developing, proving and then sharing models, and also providing some of the funding to get the ball rolling.
But there are still nearly 900 million people who need a helping hand to realize their dream of safe water. Join me in celebrating World Water Day 2010 with a coalition of water, sanitation, hygiene, and health organizations that have come together to raise awareness and call for more robust action to ensure global access to safe water and sanitation. Get involved and make a difference at www.waterday.org.