Saturday, March 22, 2014

Today is World Water Day, So Here are Some Interesting and Flat-out Amazing Water Facts . . .

As you go through this day, fix and eat your dinner and spend time with your family, consider the following information about water from water.org . . . 
  • Do you have a cell phone? More people in the world own cell phones than have access to a toilet.
  • The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.
  • A bathtub holds 151L of water - someone living in a slum may have 30L of water to use for their needs all day long.
  • Diarrhea remains the second leading cause of death among children under five globally. Nearly one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhea. It kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. 
  • Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.
  • In just one day, more than 200 million hours of women’s time is consumed for the most basic of human needs — collecting water for domestic use. This lost productivity is greater than the combined number of hours worked in a week by employees at Wal*Mart, United Parcel Service, McDonald’s, IBM, Target, and Kroger.
  • At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. 
World Help believes, "water is essential to life, and the lack of clean water in developing countries is the starting place of a thousand miseries. Causelife is a movement of people dedicated to providing the most essential need to human life – water. By raising awareness and implementing solutions, causelife provides clean, safe water that changes lives and transforms communities. Water equals life . . . and water changes everything."  

Stop and think about it for just a moment. How far did you walk this morning to find the water you needed for brushing your teeth, showering and making coffee? A few steps? In many parts of the world people have to walk as many as 12 miles each way to fetch water for themselves and their families. We "use more water in a single toilet flush than the average person in Africa uses in an entire day."

Will your children/grandchildren go to school on Monday? In many places around the world, "Children cannot go to school because their parents need them to fetch water. Walking for water is the most common chore that keeps children busy during the day, preventing them from attending school. Even if they have time, the high number of illnesses stops many from going to school." I did not realize these things. Yes, I knew finding and having access to clean, safe water was a huge problem around the world, but I had no idea the scope of the problem, so I spent some time researching about the water crisis and learned the following from causelife:
  • The root problem will always be dirty water. It causes a life characterized by sickness, poverty, illiteracy, and early death. 
  • When dirty water is replaced with clean water, everything changes. High mortality rates drop because babies no longer suffer from parasites and diarrhea. 
  • Children become healthy enough to attend school and they have the time to do so without long walks to a water source. Some may eventually attend a university where they will receive a higher education, bringing hope to their villages and communities. 
  • There is more food from gardens and irrigated land. Livestock is healthier and provides better meat. Families eat what they need and can sell what is left at the market.
  • Productivity increases, poverty decreases, and children’s lives are transformed.
  • A simple gift of $15 will be combined with gifts from others and can give one person water for twenty years!
  • A gift of $75 will be combined with gifts from others and can give one family water for twenty years!
  • A gift of $150 will be combined with gifts from others and can give ten people water for twenty years!
So, given these water facts, how can you involve your children and Put Feet to Their
Faith with causelife? Start with watching WorldHelp's video,  Deeper campaign video to see what it’s all about. Check causelife's website - www.causelife.org - to see how people from across the country have come up with creative and fun ways to raise money for clean water - everything from a 5K/10K Turkey Trot in CA to a summer lemonade stand and then get a group of people together and think about what you can do to help your children understand the need for water and how they can help. Consider these ideas as a place to begin . . . 
  • Consider purchasing bottles of water and then have a label design contest among your family and friends to design your own labels. Provide crayons, markers and name badge labels so children can decorate labels to put on each bottle of water. Sell the water bottles and send the money to causelife.
  • Make "drops of water" by filling blue balloons with rice or sand - use the top portion of a water bottle as a funnel. Sell your "water drops" and send the money to causelife.
We can make a difference in this world by helping to meet the most basic and essential need we all have -access to clean, safe water. When we provide opportunities for our children to serve others they are "Putting Feet to Their Faith" - when they do this they move their faith from something they "know" to something they "live"!

Today’s water crisis is not an issue of scarcity, but of access. Make this World Water Day matter for someone in the developing world who needs clean water.

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