World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.
Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. (source) Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses.
90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are in children under five years old. (source) Many of these diseases are preventable. The WHO reports that over 3.6% of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply, sanitation, and hygiene.
It’s hard not to think about water today. In the western world, we face growing concerns about our stewardship of the world’s most precious resource. There’s talk of shortages, evidence of reservoirs and aquifers drying up, and of course, plenty of people who simply don’t care. Most of us have never really been thirsty. We’ve never had to leave our houses and walk five miles to fetch water. We simply turn on the tap, and water comes out. Clean. Yet there are 800 million people on the planet who don’t have clean water. One in every nine people on this earth do not have clean water. Something we can’t imagine going even 12 hours without. Those people didn’t choose to be born into a village where the only source of water is a polluted swamp.
The charity: water organization doesn’t offer grand solutions and billion dollar schemes, but instead, simple things that work. Things like freshwater wells, rainwater catchments and sand filters. They need support from the rest of the world to fund programs that supply those things and they need people to help them raise awareness of the lack of clean water to many parts of the world.
- Support World Water Day (conservationnews.wordpress.com)
- 10 ways to celebrate #WorldWaterDay (yugaplanusa.wordpress.com)
- 783 Million People Lack Access to Safe Drinking Water #WorldWaterDay2013 (mombloggersforsocialgood.com)
- Amazing Africa: World Water Day and World TB Day (one.org)
- Donate your voice for World Water Day – and help spread the word! (one.org)