World Water Day 2013
Today, March 22, marks the 20th annual World Water Day and if you are reading this, there's a good chance you can walk over to a tap, turn it on and expect clean water, but for 800 million people (mostly women and children), this is not a reality. Add to this rising temperatures, exploding populations, increasing droughts and widening pollution and it all adds up to one word: crisis.
It's hard to imagine what 800 million people looks like really, but one in nine might be easier. One in nine people in our world doesn't have access to the most basic of human needs. Something we can't imagine going 12 hours without...They are very real, and they need our help. They didn't choose to be born into a village where the only source of water is a polluted swamp. And we didn't choose to be born in a country where even the homeless have access to clean water and a toilet.
We invite you to put yourself in their shoes. Follow them on their daily journey. Carry 80 pounds of water in yellow fuel cans. Dig with their children in sand for water. Line up at a well and wait eight hours for a turn...
--excerpt from the WorldCharity.org manifesto
World Water Day was created in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly with a goal of heightening awareness on this crucial problem. As you might expect, lack of water access affects women and children the most; in Africa, for example, they spend about 40 billion hours annual just fetching clean-ish water - a grueling and risky task, depending on how far they must travel.
The organization is happily accepting donations but there are also a number of global events aimed at increasing awareness. WorldCharity also encourages those concerned to donate their birthday to the cause or sponsor a water project.
Also, UNICEF has created a Facebook campaign, UNICEF Tap Project, that asks for a minimal donation. For every $5, UNICEF will provide a child with access to safe, clean water for 200 days. Already, they've raised $3.5 million benefitting kids in Belize, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire (Central Africa), Guatamala, Haiti, Iraq, Mauritania, Togo and Vietnam.
If nothing else, be grateful for that basic tap water and think about how you can combat this global inbalance in your own way.