I used to have one of those jobs that everyone thinks they want. It involved a ton of travel to cool places like Scottsdale, Arizona where I could go hiking. And Denver, Colorado where I could hang out with all of the cool kids. But travel completely unraveled me, the desert was hot, and I also had to spend a whole lot of time in a whole lot of boring sites way out in the sticks.
I had more frequent flier miles than I knew what to do with, but I knew I was home when I saw the Lake. The Big Lake. The clear, fresh, unsalted inland ocean that is Lake Michigan. I could always see it from the plane and felt calmer knowing I was back where I belonged. Most people who are from the Great Lakes State feel some sense of ownership of, and by, their favorite lake. Somehow; we belong not just with but to each other.
Fresh water is a blessing and a privilege when it comes in the form of a favorite lake or river or stream. It comes with a stewardship obligation, and one to be taken seriously even by our youngest citizens .
Fresh, safe water is also need. A requirement for life. Today, March 22 is World Water Day, a day established by the United Nations to look at water issues around the world. It’s a day that draws attention to the facts that 783 million people, or 11% of the world’s population, do not have safe water to drink and that this, coupled with poor sanitation, results in 2,000 children dying every day. I’ll say that again;
TWO THOUSAND CHILDREN, EVERY DAY.
WaterAid helped this community in rural Madagascar build a water point. They were so happy they planted a beautiful flower garden to surround it! WaterAid is an international non-profit organization that helps the world’s poorest people to plan, build and manage their own safe water supplies and to improve their sanitation and hygiene. These seem so basic to us; but it transforms and sustains people’s lives.
Water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty. Hours spent carrying water can instead be spent with family, tending crops, raising livestock or starting a business. Simple changes to sanitation and hygiene practices save thousands of babies’ lives and keep children in school. WaterAid’s new short video Water is just the beginning, that explores the ways safe water changes lives.
Here’s How you can help:
- Follow WaterAid America on Twitter and Facebook and share their posts on the #20ways that water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty.
- Join the World Water Day Google+ Hangout at 1.30pm EST on March 22 – WaterAid and other water organizations will be discussing the world water crisis and solutions in a celebration moderated by YouTube star Justine Ezarik.
- Make a donation: as experts in practical, hands-on water solutions WaterAid has brought clean water to 17.5 million people. But they need your help to achieve their aim of helping 1.4 million more people this year.