How far do you have to walk so that your family can have clean water to drink, cook, and wash clothes?
Three feet to your master bathroom? Ten feet to the kitchen faucet?
Millions of people (mostly women and children) walk 6 kilometres (over 3 miles) every day just to collect water for their basic needs. Billions have no safe place to go to the toilet. Lack of water and sanitation traps these people in a vicious circle of disease, lost life chances and poverty.
The World Walks for Water is a global event from March 19-22, 2011, that aims to raise awareness of the world’s current water and sanitation crisis, and critically, demand strong government action to stop the needless deaths of 4,000 children every day.
On World Water Day 2011 thousands of people across the globe will walk together for 6 kilometres to demand an end to this crisis. The walks will build on the success of the World’s Longest Toilet Queue in 2010, and demand that politicians in the North and the South keep their promises and step up their efforts to ensure water and sanitation for all people, everywhere.
Get informed by reading the quick facts below, then look for a World Walks for Water event near you, or organize one yourself. It’s easy, just start walking!
The Dry Facts
- One in eight people in the world do not have access to safe water and almost 40% of the world population don’t have adequate sanitation.
- Women and children walk on average 6km to often unprotected water sources, such as rivers or muddy dugouts. The average weight of water carried is 20 kg. Carrying the heavy water containers back home is an exhausting task, taking up valuable time and energy.
- This lack of access impacts severely upon health, education, and income. Over half the hospital beds in Africa are filled with people suffering from preventable diarrhoeal diseases. Illness and lack of sanitation facilities in the classroom mean children are unable to go to school and miss out on an education.
- Inadequate sanitation and water keep people living in poverty. Economies are damaged – an estimated 5 percent of developing countries’ GDP is lost to illnesses and deaths caused by dirty water and a lack of sanitation.
- Despite numerous national and international commitments, politicians are still ignoring this crisis. Water and sanitation are essential for improving health, education, gender equality and economic growth. We need to make politicians act on their promises.
Other Ways To Help
March 20-26, 2011 marks World Water Week, and during this time you can help millions of children around the world who lack access to clean water.
During this week, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF (United Nations’ International Children’s Emergency Fund) is launching its annual Tap Project. As Care2′s Judy Molland writes, “Across the United States, [participating] restaurants will encourage patrons to donate $1 or more for the tap water they usually enjoy for free. Just click here to get the list of participating restaurants.”
Sign This Care2 Petition:
Women Worldwide Need Clean Water
Image Credit: The World Walks for Water