The ripple effects of clean water on a community are tremendous. The greatest benefits are more time, more health, and more equity. A community with clean water will have greater protection against diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, hepatitis A, and other fatal diseases. Children are the most vulnerable targets of these diseases, but malnourished children are particularly at risk, as their bodies are already at such a weak state. Furthermore, both men and women can participate in supplying a village with clean water. For example, charity: water engages both males and females in the process, which gives both the opportunity to monitor the water project and share in the renewed sense of value, dignity, and equality.
But what exactly is meant by more time? Children and women are usually responsible for drawing water from a well or the nearest water source. This time constraint keeps them out of school, away from home, and out of work. Not only does this oftentimes long journey jeopardize their safety, as many are at risk of sexual predators, but the heavy weight of the water strains their bodies. Families also have more time to invest in food security. If less time is spent fetching water, more time can be spent growing food that can make a family self-sufficient. Furthermore, these families will now have a clean water supply to use in their family gardens.
One of the primary reasons Plumpy’nut was created was because previously used powdered milk formulas needed to be mixed with water. Because clean water was such a scarce resource, in many cases the formula was mixed with dirty water. This resulted in the onslaught of more disease in young children. Not only was a child’s weak body already vulnerable to malnutrition, but now also to water-borne disease. Just as malnutrition hits children under 5 the hardest, diseases resulting from unsafe water also cause 90% of the 42,000 deaths of children under five (charity: water).
Today, nearly one billion people lack access to a safe supply of clean water. Consequently, more people die from lack of safe water and sanitation than war and all other types of violence. Today is the day to spark a change! Celebrate World Water Day by checking out some of these resources:
charity: water – charity: water non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations directly fund water projects
WaterAid – WaterAid transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. We work with partners and influence decision-makers to maximise our impact.
Take on the Four-Minute Shower Challenge! Cut back your shower time in half (the average American shower is 4 minutes) and Nature’s Gate will donate $1 to WaterAid and half off on any online purchase!
Donate your online voice by clicking here. By following the link, you can donate your Facebook status or twitter account to update a message about clean water daily until March 26th.