This morning most of us woke up, showered and brushed our teeth as we looked forward to the day ahead. Meanwhile in other parts of the world, nearly 900 million people were faced with yet another day without clean water, and 2.6 billion were left without access to adequate sanitation.
According to the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group, almost 10,000 children under the age of 5 in third world countries die as a result of illnesses contracted by use of unclean water each day. What we tend to take for granted on a daily basis, many are left without, leading to some pretty ugly realities such as sewage and diarrheal diseases.
We talked a little bit last week about what you could do to help the global water and sanitation crisis. But since today officially marks World Water Day, a day designated by the UN to spotlight the global water and sanitation crisis, we wanted to share some cool things from our friends in the nonprofit community that you could do from your home or office desk to share awareness with others.
1. Get informed: Visit the charity: water website to learn some key facts about unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation, how this affects women and children and the vast improvements made to a community from building just one inexpensive well. You can also watch videos, read first-hand stories and help spread the word by posting a banner on your site, MySpace page or Facebook profile.
2. Donate your voice: Make your voice heard by allowing water.org to post daily status updates for World Water Day until March 26, using your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. It’s as easy as a few clicks of your mouse.
3. Drink water to give water: Although a coffee or soda here and there doesn’t seem like much of a luxury, beverages add up fast. Watch this cool, eye-opening short film made by Living Water International and take part in their Lenten H2O Challenge. You don’t have to celebrate Lent to participate — just choose a period of time where you make water your only beverage. Then set aside the money you would have otherwise spent on beverages.
4. Participate in a Q&A: Join US Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero for a live Q&A webchat on Thursday, March 24. Discuss global water issues with the Under Secretary, ask her questions and learn how the US government is partnering with international organizations in efforts to improve global water challenges. The discussion will be held from 8:30 to 9:30 AM, EST. Visit the event’s Facebook page for more information on how to participate.
5. Go to happy hour and have a beer: Okay, we lied. You’re going to have to leave your desk for this last one, but we promise it’ll be worth it. Wells4Wells is fighting the global water crisis one beer at a time. On Thursday, March 24, participating cities around the country will host its own happy hour, where bars and restaurants will donate a portion of their sales during these hours. Collectively, the money raised will go to funding the construction of a water well at a school in Africa. This will provide clean water for more than 1,000 children. Visit the site and find your city now.
Water and sanitation is a huge issue for us at ONE. Today is yet another reminder to be more conscious of our conservation efforts and find methods to help those in need. Access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation facilities could transform the lives of millions — but knowing how and why is a key part of being a smart and informed advocate for the world’s poorest people.