With fresh water quite literally ‘on tap’, it is not surprising that many of forget how lucky we are to have one of life’s necessities permanently available to us.
Indeed, we are so used to having clean water pumped to our homes many of us abuse this privilege. More often than not we waste this natural resource through poor habits such as leaving taps running when we clean our teeth or watering our gardens with drinking water, rather than using the plentiful (and free) supply of rainwater which we could harvest.
However, in many countries across the world there are millions of people who do not have this luxury, people who, on a daily basis and through no fault of their own, put their lives at risk because they have no other choice.
According to a WHO/UNICEF report compiled in 2014, it was estimated that a staggering 750 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in ten of the world’s population!
Either due to poor infrastructure or bad management of services, those living in poor communities are forced to collect water from wherever they can. Dirty rivers, ponds or disease-infested streams are often their only source of cleaning, cooking and drinking water, which leaves many of them, mostly children, suffering from water-related diseases, such as diarrhoea.
Shockingly UNICEF* report around 500,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation – that’s over 1,400 children a day!
As Beauty Chiimbwe, a mother from Kayola village in Zambia knows only too well, collecting water from an unprotected hand-dug pond puts her family at risk every time they use it.
Regularly sick with diarrhoea from drinking the water, She has to take her children to the clinic two or three times a month, which is a long cycle ride away – often in the dark. She understands the importance of safe water, hygiene and basic toilets but there are no facilities in the village. She says that if there was a handpump close to home life would change and she would be happy.
That is why it is important, as one of the lucky ones, that we use our voice to make safe water a basic right for everyone.
Wateraid’s #MakeItHappen campaign aims to get taps and toilets to everyone, everywhere by 2030 and all you have to do to help them achieve this goal is to sign their petition.
To find out more about this life-changing mission and what WaterAid do , take a look at this inspiring video and then sign you name.
This post has been sponsored by WaterAid but all thoughts are my own.
*Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed – Progress Report 2014, UNICEF, September 2014.