Water Is Life“When the well's dry, we know the worth of water.” - Benjamin Franklin
The course of world society in the twenty-first century is likely to be substantially influenced by a single resource: drinking water. Clean water is key for a quality life. Without water, life—animal, plant, or human—cannot exist. Without water, any one of us will be subject to variables that will cause challenge and struggle to live a healthy life. This is the reality of our lives and there are many who are forced to deal with this reality up close and personal, more so than others. Most recognize this is not new news. “Everybody knows that 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions and 10% of the global disease could be reduced through improved water supply, sanitation, and hygiene.” — Do we?
Do we know that 842,000 diarrhoeal diseases deaths per year result from unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene? Do we know that 1,800 child deaths every day are linked to water, sanitation and hygiene? Do we believe these statistics and others like them which are readily verifiable? What do your actions to alleviate this suffering display about what you believe?
Water is an absolute necessity and yet 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases; 783 million people do not have access to clean and safe water worldwide.
How are people not getting clean water?
Is it really that hard to get clean water?
Some of the factors that define the challenges to access water :
Less than 1 percent of all water on Earth is available as groundwater and surface water suitable for humans to use for drinking and cooking. That 1% is not distributed across the globe in proportion to the human population. For example – India has just 4% of the world’s fresh water but 16% of the global population.
Precipitation, which replenishes groundwater and surface water resources, does not fall evenly over the face of the Earth. Additionally, some times of the year are rainy, other times dry. Water resources can be abundant at some times and in some places, but extremely sparse in others.
For more than a billion people in developing countries, water is scarce and frequently contaminated, posing a health risk. In these parts of the world, contaminated drinking water along with primitive (or nonexistent) sanitation systems annually result in widespread illness and millions of deaths. Also note: The majority of the water-borne disease victims are children.
According to – The Layman’s Guide to Clean Water – “drinking water contamination effects can be devastating to the individual and they can impact entire cultures.” Often, people who live in areas without sufficient safe, clean water, learn to live with diarrhea and other drinking water contamination effects. Entire communities exist in a continual state of being half-well. This directly affects their education and livelihoods. They take it for granted that they are just going to be sick periodically – it is just a fact of life. Stomach aches become the norm. Fatigue and lethargy become common place. They struggle to be one hundred percent fruitful and prosperous. The condition of the people becomes the condition of their society.
Increasing evidence has become available that household water treatment and safe storage are associated with significant health gains where available water is contaminated. A simple water filter makes a significant impact to our nutrient base (what we put in our bodies) – including water. One by product from not having access to clean drinking water – Stunting. It is described as, low height for age or a height more than two standard deviations below the WHO Child Growth Standards median. Globally, an estimated one in four children under age 5 suffer from stunting.
There are simple solutions. For example using clean water is one of the best ways to stop children losing essential nutrients vital to growth. From a study authored by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the charity WaterAid, we learn that simply providing children with clean water and soap could make them grow taller.
And yet, hundreds of products and services are available that can help local people access, treat and clean their water; however, in the areas where they are needed most, these solutions are not readily available. What can be done?
The magnitude of our world’s water crisis cannot be overstated. The world-wide conditions for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – (WaSH for short) – these three fundamental issues, must be improved in order to conquer our global sanitation crisis. This in and of itself is daunting.
“A river cuts through rock not because of its power but because of its persistence.”
James N. Watkins
The WaSH initiative of Connect For Water values the idea of dedicated target strikes promoting sustainable health and business; bringing investment to improve drinking water, sanitation, hygiene and water resourcing.
The cumulative cost and expense in time and resources caused by poor access to water or sanitation is staggering. Traditional philanthropy alone will not solve the current world-wide water crisis. Investing to bring access to clean water and sanitation is a better path that will eliminate poverty. It brings positive returns and makes economic sense; every dollar invested leads to up to eight dollars in benefits.
We are Connect For Water, a newly formed not-for-profit on a mission to improve local access to clean water solutions across the globe. We bring water filtration technology, economic stimulus and hope to communities ridden with disease because of contaminated water.