Why you should careClean water means better health, food, and educational opportunities for women, children…everyone.
by Elise Kim Contributor
Water crisis. The government says it, the journalists say it, and the environmentalists scream it. Our current water crisis means more than two billion people in the world don’t have access to clean drinking water. Where is this water crisis? Go on, raise your hand.
“In Africa?” …But, it’s not just there. It’s in Asia, Europe, and America too. It’s where you and I live, and it’s what our future holds. If you live in southern California, like me, you’ve heard the news of California’s drought for many years, and perhaps, have perfectly trained yourself to take 3-minute showers. Thankfully, that’s about as bad as it gets. Even with California’s state of emergency, we still have water coming out of the faucet, the refrigerator, the shower head, spigots, and more.
But what about others for whom the water crisis is a complete and devastating reality? Some people walk 60 minutes to reach a muddy well, while others collect water from a dirty, stagnant lake. The water crisis touches us, but it completely bowls over others. Inadequate sanitation, constant disease, and poor nutrition could become our reality if we don’t solve the water crisis. But if we help, then clean water and good health can become everybody’s reality.
There are a hundred things we can do to bring clean water to someone in need and it doesn’t require you to do much. We can use our own power as consumers to buy from companies that Give Back. Many everyday products support efforts to provide clean water, such as this cool Shark Tea Infuser made by Grosche. Just by purchasing this tea infuser, Grosche will help provide 50 days of clean water to someone in need. That doesn’t sound like much, but think about it: that’s giving 50 days of clean water to someone who wouldn’t normally have clean water. So, yeah, you’d be doing a lot. Also, shout out to Grosche for having a HeySoGo Gold Giveback Medal and a Bronze Sustainability Medal!
With clean water, you can share a healthy life. “Wash your hands” is the mantra of doctors. But when you don’t have a sink and you don’t have clean water in the sink, how can you wash hands? In communities without clean water, the same diseases wreak havoc again and again in the same area — these are diarrhea, cholera, polio, typhoid, and dysentery to name a few common ones. With 38% of hospitals without a clean water source, the chance of disease re-infection is high. The reason we don’t see these diseases in our communities is because these are easily preventable diseases — you just need clean water. Giving clean water can stop more than half a million deaths a year. That’s more healthier, happier people.
With clean water, you can help increase access to education. We have the power to impact a not-so-obvious repercussion of the water crisis: lack of clean water can limit a girls’ freedom. With access to clean water, girls don’t need to fulfill the daily family burden of walking hours to collect and transport water for home use; instead, girls can spend more time in school. Rather than a story about a girl achieving her dreams, we get this story instead: a girl wants to study and start her own business, but can’t because of all the time it takes to carry water. And because her school also lacks simple sanitation, she eventually drops out of school. With access to clean water, girls don’t need to fulfill the daily family burden of walking hours to collect and transport water for home use.
We have the power to change the story — you just need clean water. By providing clean drinking water to communities in need, girls can keep going to school, learn the skills they need to start their own careers, and achieve wonders. Because you, me, and everyone else on this planet should be able to fulfill their dreams.
We could turn a blind eye because that’s easy. But, I fear the problem will be knocking on our front door soon because this global water crisis is growing. According to the World Health Organization, 4.5 billion people lack safely managed sanitation services. That’s more than half the world’s population of 7.4 billion people.
We can all pitch in and help. We can. We can in tiny ways that make a big difference. Dare to be that choosey consumer — make choices that impact for good.
Elise Kim examined the challenges and solutions to our water crisis during her 2018 summer internship with HOVE Social Good, where she wrote pieces to connect with people and positive impacts.
Hauser, Christine. “Flint Hit With Bacterial Illness as Residents Shun City Water”. The New York Times, 4 October 2016, www.nytimes.com/2016/10/05/us/flint-hit-with-bacterial-illness-as-residents-shun-city-water.html
“Drinking-Water”. World Health Organization, 7 Feb 2018, http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water.
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