Billions of people live in the kind of squalor that was eradicated long ago in the rich world. It is a global water and sanitation crisis that deserves our undivided attention NOW (well, yesterday, to be exact)… especially since there is a lack of political will to push through changes that could benefit the poorest and most vulnerable people. Here are just two shocking statistics:
- 1 in 8 people don’t have access to clean water.
- 40% of the world’s population suffer without a safe toilet, that’s 2.5 billion people!
Fortunately, there are organizations dedicated to providing sanitation and clean water to the world’s poorest people. End Water Poverty is one of them and I am committed to helping them raise awareness about the critical issues and motivating people around the globe to take action.
Here’s one easy way to take action and it will just take a minute or less! Oppose the global injustice that causes millions to live without access to clean water and sanitation by pledging your support to End Water Poverty. What happens when something as basic as a toilet is unavailable?
- Girls’ educations are ruined due to open, unsafe or no toilets at schools
- 4,000 young children die each day due to unsanitary conditions
- Communities become locked into circles of ill-health, poverty and despair
Want to do more to help? Mark your calendar for March 22, first deemed International World Water Day in 1993 by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) as an international day of observance and action to draw attention to the role that freshwater plays in our world and lives. It’s a crucial moment in the fight against the global sanitation and water crisis that’s killing 4,000 children every single day.
Just one month later, politicians from across the globe will gather in Washington DC. to discuss what they need to do to fulfill some of the most basic rights of the world’s citizens – access to a safe toilet and clean water.
8 ways to take action before, on and after the date:
- Watch the movies FLOW and Blue Gold –two award-winning documentaries about the global water crisis. My son was 8 when we shared FLOW with him and it really made an impact. Have a screening at your home!
- Join the World’s Longest Toilet Queue. A mass mobilization event and Guinness World Record attempt bringing together thousands of campaigners from across the world to demand real change at the meeting. Organize a queue of your own. (I’m organizing one where I live). Or simply find one near you on the queue map.
- Participate in World Water Day lobbying activities: Sign up to meet with Congressional offices on March 23rd in Washington DC and let them know that we need greater U.S. leadership on access to drinking water and sanitation for the world’s poor.
- Email your member of congress and ask that they step up their efforts to address the water and sanitation crisis, as well as other issues that threaten children’s survival in poor countries.
- Use your social network to spread the word. If you’re on facebook, join The World’s Longest Toilet Queue and End Water Poverty and invite your friends. If you’re on twitter, follow @EndWaterPoverty, @ToiletQueue and @IC4ME (I Count for myEARTH). Join us every Wednesday to tweet about world water crisis issues–be sure to use the hashmark #waterwednesday to help earn us Trending Topic status and to make @ tweets viral. Simply re-tweet our tweets or come up with some of your own. Here are some sample tweets to tweet any day of the week:
- 3000+ in the online #ToiletQueue! http://bit.ly/6AWhLU AMAZING! And an awesome 56 countries in the real ToiletQueue!
- In 20 years more than half the world’s population could face water shortages. ~via @IC4ME
- Urge politicians to stop 4000 child deaths/day @EndWaterPoverty @WorldToiletDay action http://bit.ly/3X6wT7 #waterwednesday
- Did you know the @ToiletQueue is #22Mar? Why should you give a crap? http://bit.ly/PslHg
- Purchase Linda Loudermilk’s limited edition Water is a Human Right Mission Wear –a generous portion of sales will be donated to organizations that support the global water crisis.
- Purchase eco-friendly products from my website, myEARTH360.com, and enter THIRSTAID20 at checkout. We’ll give $5 to Thirst Aid Live for every $25 you spend… enough to give one person water for a lifetime!
- Participate in myEARTH360.com’s Giving Giveaway–help spread the word about World Water Day and other important global issues for a chance to win some eco prizes.
More facts about the world water crisis:
- More than half of hospital beds in Sub Saharan Africa are occupied by patients suffering from sanitation and water related diseases
- These diseases are the biggest killer of young children, killing over five times more than HIV/AIDS and twice as many as malaria.
- Young girls simply don’t attend as there aren’t toilets at school, or they aren’t safe or private.
- Other girls spend hours of their day walking to fetch water or caring for ill siblings and have no time for an education at all
- In Africa, an estimated 5% of GDP is lost to illnesses and deaths caused by dirty water and the absence of sanitation
- Climate change is making things worse, increasing pressure on water resources.
End Water Poverty is calling for:
- One global action plan for sanitation and water monitored by one global task force
- 70% of aid money for sanitation and water to be targeted at the poorest countries
- Water resources to be protected and shared equitably
Success depends on rich governments protecting good water and sanitation plans from failure due to inadequate financing; and developing countries must commit to implementing these plans. Please sign the petition now and learn about other ways you can take action by visiting EndWaterPoverty.org. If you’re part of an organization, consider joining The End Water Poverty coalition.
4,000 children do not deserve to die each day because they are lacking clean water and sanitation. Together, we can help make a difference.