Today, March 22, is World Water Day. World Water Day is an international day of observance and action to draw attention to the plight of over 600 Million people world wide that lack access to clean, safe drinking water.
World Water Day is a way of focusing on how important freshwater is to humanity. We all need water. For most people in the world, it's not as easy as turning a tap. It takes 5 gallons of water for all of our daily needs—basic hygiene, household chores, and what we consume! Most people around the world do not have access to 5 gallons of freshwater a day, yet the average American uses over 70 gallons per day. I looked at my last water bill, and with the two of us we each used 90 gallons per day.
I never think very much about our water except when I pay the bill. I found some statistics that made me realize how fortunate I am. Six hundred sixty million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. 85% of the world population lives in the driest half of the planet. I need to be reminded how lucky I am.
Many women and young girls in rural areas in Sub-Saharan African and other parts of the world must trek as much as six miles every day to retrieve water for their families.
The lack of clean water, coupled with the lack of basic sanitation and a dearth of hygiene education, is one of the largest obstacles to progress and development in these regions and across the world.
ADRA, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, is a charity that I support. They are joining the United Nations and other nongovernmental organizations in celebrating World Water Day by pressing ahead with projects that make water available to people around the world.
Villages and communities around the world are trying to sustain life from contaminated water sources because that’s the only water available. ADRA recognizes the importance of safe drinking water. ADRA’s water, hygiene, and sanitation projects are designed to provide families with improved access to safe water sources, latrines, and education on hygiene practices that keep entire communities healthy and thriving.
In Sri Lanka, for example, ADRA is one of the few nongovernmental organizations with a high-powered drilling rig. In the past six years, ADRA has brought clean water to more than 400 communities around the island.
Last year, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency funded water, hygiene, and sanitation projects in a number of countries, including Armenia, Bolivia, Chad, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Democratic Republic or Congo.
Lack of water, or being forced to drink unhealthy water, will kill thousands of people today and every day. Clean drinking water and better sanitation practices mean the difference between life and death. Giving people clean water allows them to flourish. Crops grow. Communities thrive. Families bathe. Children who would otherwise spend all day finding water get an education.
Be thankful today for your clean safe water source, and remember the many people that do not have the luxury of clean safe water and proper sanitation.