WaterAid – an organisation worth watching
Here in the UK and all over the Western world, we tend to take our free-flowing, clean water for granted. We may all have a moan when our water rates rise up a notch, but life without taps and toilets is inconceivable to many of us.
In parts of the world where clean water is a luxury for many, the devastating consequences of life without adequate sanitation is all too evident. In a world where charity-inspired fundraisers annually rally us to wear a red nose, douse ourselves in icy water and wear pink while running, it’s good to celebrate the work of other key organisations.
WaterAid show why it’s imperative that the crisis of substandard (or non-existent) sanitation is tackled.
748 million people have no access to clean drinking water
2.5 billion people have no access to adequate sanitation
- 1,400 children die everyday from diarrhoea caused by poor sanitation
Imagine life without clean water
In the developed world, we have the luxury of:
Tap water – safe to drink and in unlimited supply
Bottled water – not without its downsides
Rapid boiling water
Soft water systems for homes and businesses
Drinking water regularly has the following positive benefits on our health, including: improved mental focus, weight loss, detoxification and prevention of diseases. For the millions of people who have either no access or limited access to a viable water supply, life becomes focused around collecting and rationing this water.
WaterAid help communities by investing in equipment and empowering communities to manage and maintain a clean water supply. This can mean the difference between a weekly 20km trip on a perilous boat journey to collect potentially unclean water, or a short walk to a free flowing, clean water tap in the centre of the village.
No sanitation – no way!
In many parts of the developing world there are no toilets, let alone a water treatment system that not only disposes of waste, but transforms it into viable products. The absence of a sanitary waste disposal system has clear implications in regards to the spread of disease, however a lack of knowledge of sanitary hygiene is also important.
Put simply, ‘washing hands after going to the toilet’ is something we are primed to do as a child, and therefore it follows that this practise continues into our adult life. Without the presence of clean water in which to facilitate this behaviour, this too becomes another avenue for deadly diseases to spread. WaterAid estimate that by washing hands alone, the statistics of children dying from diarrhoea would be halved. That’s 700 children a day! By educating communities about the importance of good hygiene, the spread of disease will be significantly diminished.
It’s interesting to see that in our world, we struggle to choose between filtered water, softened water, bottled water and a myriad of bathroom designs. What’s even more interesting, is that water intoxication is a real problem! It seems that, more than ever, the WaterAid campaign motto should be heard loud and clear: “Everyone, Everywhere 2030”.
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