A Drop in the Bucket
Odds are that between the time you awakened and the time you are reading this, you drank something that was water-based or was cleaned in water. If so, then consider yourself very lucky. All over the world in industrialized nations, people get up out of bed, get ready to start their day, and then are off to live that day, never thinking about the water they consumed or used to make that possible.
Leonardo da Vinci once described water as “the driving force of all nature”. IN times of drought or contamination, we tend to value water more than usual but we still consider it something that will be there. The statistics about a person’s access to clean water are staggering… and not in a good way.
To put the following statistics into perspective, consider this sobering fact: Women and children spend one hundred and twenty-five million hours each day collecting water, 125 million hours. One out of every ten people on this planet lack access to safe water. That is a staggering six hundred and sixty-three million people. One in three or almost two and a half billion people lack access to a toilet.
Let’s consider these numbers in more recognizable terms. Twice the population of the United States of America lives without access to safe water. In other words, more people own a cell or mobile phone than have access to a toilet. Recently efforts were made to correct this. However, follow-up research of rural water systems being sustained in eight countries in Africa, South America, and Central America discovered an average failure rate of water projects begun to be between twenty and forty percent. That means almost half of all efforts to turn this problem around have not succeeded even though one dollar invested in water and proper sanitation yields a four dollar economic return. That is a four hundred percent return on the investment of safe water and sanitation facilities.
Worldwide one-third of all schools operate with safe water or adequate sanitation facilities. Ever ninety seconds a child dies from a water-related disease. In low and middle income countries, one-third of healthcare facilities are without safe water. This has resulted in the World Economic Forum last year declaring the water crisis the “#1 Global Risk” because of its impact of the societies of the world.
This is not someone else’s problem. This is our problem – we who comprise the population of this planet. So what can you do? If you saved one dollar every day for thirteen weeks and one day, and then donated that money to Wells Bring Hope, a nonprofit which drills wells in rural communities of Niger, West Africa, you could provide three children with safe water for a lifetime. One hundred dollars is all it would take to make sure those three children did not become a negative statistic. Perhaps writing or speaking is more your style. Donate three hours and help the organization gain more contributors and/or grand funding.
Fountains of Hope International will use your one hundred dollars for provide clean drinking water for two hundred people for five years. It is a nonprofit that installs water-purification systems around the globe. After the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti that installed over fifty purificators. In Kenya, they provided fifteen purification systems in HIV/AIDS orphanages and refugee camps near the Somalian border. This organization targets women and orphans, seeking to help the children of the world.
Well Aware is an Austin, Texas based nonprofit that serves communities in East Africa by using research and data to provide life-essential water via safe water systems and improved and healthy hygiene and sanitation services. They work with the communities they serve so that once the organization representatives leave, the communities can continue to provide safe water. Less than one dollar a day in a single month means that twenty-five dollars donated results in five people having clean water for over twenty years.
Tomorrow will be a new day and yet, we will do our ordinary routine of getting up, brushing our teeth with safe water, perhaps take a shower, again with clean water. Eat breakfast with utensils that were washed in…you guessed it, clean water. Make this ordinary routine something extraordinary, though, by thinking about donating to a charity that provides safe water to those without it.
Hopefully, tomorrow will be the beginning of a drop in a bucket for someone who has none, a safe drop of water that can bring life. It may not seem like much but just consider the ripples that one drop of water makes falling on the ocean’s surface. You might not realize the ripples you can make but your help will mean everything to others; it will give life.