Any World Water Day news to report? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know your water thoughts from this month so far…
We’d like to pick up where we left off last week on the world’s fresh water crisis and explore further issues of water security.
Experts are saying that the water crisis of today is not necessarily one of scarcity but of access & management.
“More people in the world own cell phones than have access to a toilet. And as cities and slums grow at increasing rates, the situation worsens. Every day lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills thousands, leaving others with reduced quality of life”
Unfortunately the water scales are way off balance in our world today…
A person in Canada or the U.S. taking a five-minute shower uses more water than a typical person in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.
While in still other areas of the world, water has become a source of tension as groups argue over who owns what and fights for access to fresh, clean water.
MCC Saskatchewan recently hosted a guest named Zoughbi Zoughbi, a Palestinian man who works for peace through an organization called Wi’iam in Bethlehem. He spoke about the current situation in the West Bank where citizens have access to approximately only 15% of their underground water sources – while the other 85% is redirected across the dividing wall to Israel. Zoughbi mentioned that in his home, he must collect water in a tank on his roof which is filled every 3 weeks. From this tank they shower, wash their clothes, cook and maintain their gardens. Definitely a different day to day routine than we’re used to!
As we know, not having access to enough clean drinking water is a matter of life and death.
- Globally – 1.4 million deaths in children, 3.575 million deaths total and ½ of the world’s hospitalizations are due to water born diseases.
- Almost 1/10 of the global disease burden could be prevented by improving water supply, sanitation, hygiene and managements of water resources.
- Only 62% of the world’s population has access to improved sanitation (defined as a sanitation facility that ensures hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact)
- Every year, women and children spend thousands of hours collecting water (according to water.org – “This lost productivity is greater than the combined numbers of hours worked in a week by employees at Wal-Mart, United Parcel Service, McDonald’s, IBM, Target and Kroger.”
- Thousands of 6th graders will drop out of school each year because of water security.
Water security is clearly a justice issue, sometimes because of conflict, other times because of climate change & drought – the lack of access to fresh water affects many more people’s lives than most of us are aware of.
Visit MCC.org/water for more info on water projects in Palestine or check out these other organizations dedicated to water for all.