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Women hold up half the sky.
3 August 2015
By Doreen Nagle for Buy The Change
We in the USA, and in other developed nations, are fortunate on many levels.
One way is water on demand. Turn a faucet on in the kitchen, bathroom, garden
or out near the pool and voila! Here comes plenty of clean, fresh water. This
simple act that we take for granted everyday, but is an oft-dreamt about wish for
many of our global brothers and sisters.
Some hard facts:
Around the world, over 740 million people go without access to clean
water daily. That equates to about one in nine people. The majority of
these are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Water is the human body’s principal chemical. The adult body is made up
of about 60 to 65 percent water. The brain is 85 percent water. Physicians
recommend drinking about eight glasses of fresh water a day. In most
developing countries, this is an impossibility.
Lack of clean drinking water has created an enormous crisis affecting
It is the cause of deadly waterborne diseases – each year about
19.5 million people are infected with roundworm and whipworm
alone; other parasites common in dirty water include E.coli, Cholera
vibrio and Hepatitis A.
Children who do not have access to clean water suffer in terms of poor
nutrition, which subsequently impacts their education negatively:
Waterborne parasites consume nutrients in foods, which leads to
malnutrition. Malnutrition stunts children's physical development;
one consequence of stunted physical development is poor school
attendance and performance.
Lack of proper sanitation is also an enormous issue. In some regions, the
sanitation facilities at schools are so bad that children are kept home vs.
attending school. It mainly affects young girls, especially once they start to
menstruate. Their resulting lack of education then impacts the quality of
the rest of their lives.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that one out of every five
deaths of children five and younger is from a waterborne disease.
In the majority of the impacted regions, it is up to the women to collect
water for the household, leaving the women vulnerable to developing
diseases from the parasite-ridden water sources. In addition, women who
have to walk a distance from home to get water are in danger from rapists
and other attackers.
There is some good news.
Many organizations, as well as several celebrities - Matt Damon, Katy Perry, Bill
Gates are a few – are turning the spotlight on this horrific situation and helping to
construct effective sanitation, improve the water supply, educate people on good
hygiene habits and develop vegetable gardens to help feed their families.
One of our favorite non-profits leading the way is Charity:Water
(charitywater.org). They help communities build wells and latrines as well as
teach effective hygiene habits. According to their research, handwashing alone
can reduce water-related deaths by more than a third!
Charity:Water also encourages fun ways for people to donate to their very worthy
cause: how about asking friends and family to donate whatever number your next
birthday is in dollars?
Check their website for other ideas and to join the supporters who have already
helped them with the 16,000 projects they’ve constructed in 24 countries.
Buy The Change is dedicated to changing the lives of women by partnering with them
to bring their beautiful, handcrafted and ethically made products directly to you.
Please visit BuyTheChangeUSA.com"