8.05.2010

Recent Topics: Lack of Clean Water

The Buzz is on About Dirty Water
My post yesterday was about how water and sanitation have just been declared a human right by the UN. I think it is great that it has finally been declared a basic human right. It's about time, that's for sure! However, I'm not quite sure it is going to make a huge impact.

Anyways, I've come across a lot of buzz lately about dirty water and the access (or lack thereof) of clean water. The other day I linked to Amnesty International on my twitter because they came out with a report (Thirsty? How About an Ice-Cold Glass of Sewage-Infested Water?) about the water situation in Palestine. On the streets of Ireland, Amnesty International handed out bottles of filthy water to raise awareness of the situation in Palestine. Why dirty water? Because 90% of the water sources in Palestine are filthy. 

I was shocked to find that around 200,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank have no running water. As Israelis are enjoying pools filled with clean water just miles away, Palestinians are contracting diseases because their water sources have all run dry. The report also said that one Israeli consumes 4 times more water than a Palestinian community does! If you weren't in Ireland to enjoy Amnesty International's filthy water, you can still make a difference by signing their petition to get water to the Palestinians and also by donating to their cause

Recently, the UNICEF Tap Project (which I wrote about not long ago), has launched a campaign in New York where they set up a vending machine on the street. That's not an unusual sight, right? Wrong. This vending machine only sells water labeled 'cholera', 'dengue', 'dysentery', 'hepatitis', 'malaria', 'salmonella' and 'yellow fever' to draw attention to the 4,000 children that die daily from water related diseases. By selecting your favorite 'flavor' you donate money to provide clean water to those currently without. 

So it seems like the access to clean water is getting a lot of attention lately, which I think is great because it is something that many of us take advantage of. Everyday I try to remember those with tainted water as I brush my teeth, shower, and do the dishes. It never ceases to shock me that the amount of water we waste by flushing our toilet is more than many people in Africa get for an entire day! As I walk into coffee shops in my town and see faucets running for no reason, I feel like shouting "Do you know how many people would kill to have the amount of water you just wasted!?" but then I realize that they probably don't know about the water crisis. That's my job right now - to raise awareness and spread the word. So hopefully this was able to help shine a bit of light on the water crisis for those who didn't already know about it and that it was able to reinforce the importance of knowing about the water crisis to those who already knew. Remember to spread the word! It's the easiest way to draw attention to the issue and make a change. 
Photos via Oscocio.

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