Imagine a World Without Water.
Imagine, right now, turning on a faucet and nothing flowing out of it. Imagine the toasty comfort of a simple shower, or the pure pleasure of freshly brushed teeth being taken away from you. Imagine a thirst so intense that your head pounds and you begin to see double.
Some people don’t have to imagine. That’s a reality for about 800 million people in our world right now.
Water is the root of life for humans. Without water, our cells–the very building blocks of our bodies–are unable to function properly, leading to countless ailments that our bodies may undergo. Without water, especially in warm climates, we wouldn’t last a week.
In developing countries where drinking water is scarce, people in the communities are forced to drink the only water that can be found–which is often murky and contaminated with the squalid conditions of the outdoor elements. These stagnant pools of water would disgust a person in a developed country, a person whose idea of quenching their thirst is to simply turn a faucet.
And yet, this is considered normal for those affected by the water shortage crisis.
Sanitary and safe drinking water is so much more than a clean bill of health. For those in underprivileged countries, the lack of water impedes every segment of life: from the big-picture view of socioeconomic development, to simply having enough water to grow enough food for a family. Living without enough water is like living on a giant hamster wheel: people across the globe are suffering from a problem which can only be solved by the root of the issue itself.
On a given day, more than 1,400 children under the age of five will perish due to the lack of access to clean water that’s safe to drink. That’s 1,400 people who will never get an education. That’s 1,400 people who will never have the chance to see the beauty of the Earth around them. That’s 1,400 people who will never have the opportunity to change the world. And it’s 1,400 people too many. By providing sources of sanitary, accessible water to communities impacted by the global water shortage, 2.5 million lives can be saved on a yearly basis.
WOMEN & CHILDREN
For women and children, obtaining water translates to a rigorous journey to the closest water source, which is often miles away. The trek alone to water sources are often filled with danger for women: the road to water for a woman usually is replete with sexual harrassment and the threat of assault. Once water is collected, it’s usually contaminated with germs and waterborne diseases. On a global scale, an estimated 200 million work hours are spent each day by women and their children–simply to secure a basic life necessity for their families. This lost productivity by women on a daily basis translates to more hours worked in an entire week at top corporations such as Wal-Mart, United Parcel Service, IBM, Target, McDonald’s, and Kroger COMBINED.
Think now about how much could be accomplished by women and children if their efforts were funneled in a more efficient direction. Think of the women who could, instead of having their dignity stripped away by doing nothing but procuring water all day, feel empowered by the opportunity to work in their communities and make something of themselves. Think of the potential of 200 million work hours per day in the development of impoverished nations. Think of the children who could receive an education and, in turn, make a positive impact on the world around them. Think of all the awe-inspiring possibilities that could occur if something as simple as clean water were available to everyone, not just those in fully developed countries.
This world full of promise is not some distant daydream. It can be achieved. Click here for how you can help.
(Photos courtesy of Daniel Remes and the team at Tri For Charity.)