Tag Archives: Water

World Water Day

World Water Day

 

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March 22nd is World Water Day and WaterAid has released a new report:  The Sate of  the World’s Water 2016.

There remain 16 countries in the world where 40% or more of their population does not have access to clean water – WaterAid 

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What many of us take for granted, clean, safe water to drink, cook with, bathe in, and with which to wash our clothes, is an expensive luxury to hundreds of millions of people around the world. The cost is not just monetary.  Access to clean water and sanitation is a key element to breaking the cycle of extreme poverty. Women and girls are most effected by lack of access to water and sanitation. In many areas girls miss out on school because they spend much of their day walking miles to access clean water for their families. Those girls who do make it to school often drop out once menstruation begins if there are no private toilet facilities available. UNICEF reports that 6,000 children die of water related diseases every day. The most susceptible being children under the age of five. Access to clean water is a global humanitarian priority, and world wide awareness of water as a precious resource is needed to tackle the issue. Water is life.

“Clean, affordable drinking water is not a privilege: it’s a fundamental human right. This World Water Day, let’s celebrate the unprecedented progress that’s been made in helping more people than ever before gain access to clean water. But let’s also double down on our efforts so that everyone, everywhere can exercise their basic right to clean water by the year 2030.”-Sarina Prabasi, WaterAid America Chief Executive

Photo Credits: Elizabeth Atalay taken while on a New Media Fellowship trip to Ethiopia with the International Reporting Project to report on Newborn Health.

Of Oil & Water in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Of Oil & Water in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Of Oil & Water in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Author in Riyadh

Like a shimmering oasis the city of Riyadh rises out of the sand.  Located in central Saudi Arabia the capital city is 250 miles from the nearest coast.  Although the Arabian Peninsula is surrounded by water, humans cannot drink saltwater.  Saltwater can be turned into drinking water through a process called desalination however, and desalination is increasingly used as global populations grow.

When my husband and I visited Riyadh in 2012, one gallon of water cost three times a gallon of gas.  We could see why.   The population of the city has grown from 100,000 to over five million in the past century. To supply this precious resource seven desalination plants work to provide about 70% of the potable water for the use of its inhabitants. Desalination is a costly process that takes high energy though, deep underground aquifers and scarce ground water provide the rest.  Our host told us that he had dug a well for a new home that he is building on the outskirts of the city.   When he said that they had to dig 500 feet down to reach water, my husband jokingly asked if they had stuck oil as well. Read the rest of this entry

What Are The Millennium Development Goals?

What Are The Millennium Development Goals?

The Millennium Development Goals are 8 international development goals set after the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000. These goals were agreed upon by all 193 United Nations members to be achieved by 2015. At the time it must have seemed very far off in the future, but today marks 1,000 days until the goals are to be met. Millennium 1,000 has filled a schedule of 1,000 minutes of digital programing today to mark the goal and inspire momentum in achieving the 8 Millennium Development goals globally. You can join the conversation, or learn more by following the hashtag #MDGMomentum. I will be taking part in 1/2 hour Twitter chats with World Moms Blog at 6pm on the topic of #MDG2 Education using @worldmomsblog and #MDGMomentum, again at 9:30pm with Social Good Moms (where I am a member of Global team of  200) on #MDG5 “Picturing Maternal Health: A Look at Maternal Health Through Facts and Photos.” using #SocialGoodMoms & #MDDGMomentum hashtags, and then again at Midnight with World Moms Blog on #MDG4 Child Survival  using @worldmomsblog & the #MDGMomentum hashtag. I hope to see you at one or more! Below are fantastic infographics on each of the Millennium Development Goals from the United Nations. Much progress has been made, already extreme poverty has been halved since 1990, but we have so much farther to go by 2015, we need to work together to achieve these goals.

March 22nd Is World Water Day

March 22nd Is World Water Day

Photo by Elizabeth Atalay

Many years ago traveling in Africa I took this photo of young girls carrying these huge jugs of water through their village to their homes.  This is a snapshot of a scene that I saw played out time and again in my travels through the continent. Lines at village hand pumps, and heavy jerry cans balanced on heads, hours fetching water that could otherwise have been spent by these young girls in school, or by the women earning a living.   By being there, at times the amount of effort put into accessing the most basic of human necessities, and the conservation required once obtained, became my own reality as well.  Having grown up with an abundance of water, this was a sharp learning curve on what a precious commodity water is.  It is easy to take it for granted when you have it, until you don’t.  According to statistics from WaterAid the average North American uses 400 liters of water every day, while the average person in the developing world uses 10 liters of water every day for their drinking, washing and cooking. (Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)) So, while I returned home to the many taps of flowing water inside my house with a new appreciation for that luxury, 783 million people around the world are without clean water to drink.  Combine that fact with the lack of proper sanitation in many of the same regions and the result is 2,000 children who die each day from water related diseases.

The United Nations has established March 22nd as a day to examine water issues around the world.

WaterAid is an International non-profit organization that helps the world’s poorest people to plan, build and manage their own safe water supplies and to improve their sanitation and hygiene.  These basic services transform lives.

“Water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty.  Hours spent carrying water can instead be spent with family, tending crops, raising livestock or starting a business.  Simple changes to sanitation and hygiene practices save thousands of babies’ lives and keep children in school.”- WaterAid.

How you can help:

  • Watch, and share the below video:

 

 

 

Follow WaterAid America on Twitter and Facebook and share their posts on the #20ways that water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty.

  • Join the World Water Day Google+ Hangout at 1.30pm EST on March 22 where WaterAid and other water organizations will be discussing the world water crisis and solutions in a celebration moderated by YouTube star Justine Ezarik.
  • Make a donation: as experts in practical, hands-on water solutions WaterAid has brought clean water to 17.5 million people. But they need your help to achieve their aim of helping 1.4 million more people this year.

 

Visit www.wateraidamerica.org/worldwaterday for all the latest World Water  Day news.

I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.


Love & Water

Love & Water

Love & Water

“Water Is The Driving Force In Nature”- Leonardo da Vinci

Love is another driving force in human nature, like water it has the ability to be pure and powerful, and we need to help each other like we need Love & Water.  Water is the lifeblood of the world, and it is hard to appreciate how valuable it is unless you don’t have it.

Worldwide 800 million people do not have access to it and 2.5 billion have nowhere safe and clean to go to the toilet.  As a result, 2,000 children die every day from easily prevented diarrheal diseases with countless more unable to attend school. Millions of women are unable to work because they spend so much time collecting water and caring for sick children.- Water Aid

Clean water and sanitation are two issues that I am passionate about. Read the rest of this entry