Friday, October 15, 2010

The Global Water Crisis - What can YOU do?

The Problem:
We, in the United States, don't always think about water being a problem.  Watching the news, we hear we can't water our lawns or take long showers and that is a problem for us.  Most of us (I'm guilty of this too) even ignore these rules.  We take long, hot baths to relax from our stressful days; We water our grass because we like it to be green; We buy a twenty four pack of bottled water, drink it, and then throw it away. We ignore these rules because we live in a country that is lucky enough to have water readily available.  But what if we didn't?

Imagine this:  You are with your family in your home in Africa.  It is mid-afternoon and your three kids (10,6, and 1) are hungry.  They start to complain but you have been ill and don't have very much energy.  In order to feed them, you need water.  There is no access to water where you live so your oldest girl (the six year old) would have to walk nearly four miles there to collect and four miles back.  She must do this several times per day.  She begins to cry because the last time she gathered water, her feet were bleeding when she came back home. The family only has what the young girl can bring back with her, which is very little. The entire family has to use this water for food, drink, and bathing.  This water isn't from a well though; it is gathered from whichever source the small girl can find.  It is polluted and dirty, and will likely make the family sick.  As a matter of fact, a family living next to you had their four year old boy pass away last week. There was fecal matter in the water which caused him to obtain a parasite from the water; He lived 48 hours after that.

Still crying, your little girl leaves to gather some water.  She is gone for hours and returns bent over, carrying nearly forty pounds of water on her back, and crying.  By this point the ten year old boy and 1 year old girl are also crying.  Removing the water from your daughter's back, you notice she has a broken bone, most likely caused from the pressure.  She is unable to stand up straight and her feet are bleeding.  There are no hospitals so there is little you can do.  You prepare a small meal and manage to reduce a small amount of the crying.  Your daughter is in severe pain though.  You must use more of the water to clean her up and then put her to bed, rubbing her small back.

After getting all your children to sleep, you lie down and worry that tomorrow something horrible will happen to your family.  What if you can't find food?  With no water for miles, you can hardly grow anything.  What if one of your children gets sick from the water?  What would you do without them?  What if there is no water tomorrow?  You wish someone would help you, but day after day, no one comes.

Having felt bad all day, you are not surprised when a high fever comes over you and you begin vomiting.  You wake the children up with the noise in the small place and they begin crying.  You try to convince them you are going to be okay but they don't believe you.  You are scared but you cannot let your children see that.  You feel yourself growing weak and know you must have gotten something from the water.  You confide in your oldest, the ten year old boy, and tell him he must take care of his two younger sisters.  At 3am, you pass away, your three children laying next to you, now orphans.

If only there were clean water, this could have been prevented.

The Solution:
We are the solution.  One person does have the ability to save the world.  No matter how little or how much you can do, it makes a difference.  An entire community can be saved for only $5000.  Many people in the United States have a monthly credit card statement with that amount.  That amount of money can save five hundred people's lives for twenty years.  This money is used to build wells in communities.  All that is required is money, time, and digging.  They don't have resources.  But we do.  We can make a change.

Take Action:
You may say... "I can barely afford the things in my life." or "I can't make a difference; I'm only one person" or "I have to take care of myself, of my family" or "I don't have time."  YES YOU CAN.

There are so many simple things you can do.  For example, appreciate the water you have. Don't drink out of water bottles; Find a reusable one that you love.  Don't run the water while you brush your teeth.  Don't leave water running while you leave the room.  Every little thing helps.  Plus, these are completely free.  As a matter of fact, doing these things will actually save you money.  You like that, right?

Want to know something else you can do for free?  Spread the Word!  The more people that know about the problem, the closer we are to a solution. Share this post.  Email it to your friends and family; post it on Facebook and Twitter.  Do the same for the links below.  It takes a minute and you're done.

Have a little more time?  Do More.

Join MyWaterProject.  Signing up takes less than thirty seconds and you will have the ability to:  Educate, Engage, and Inspire others, Connect with others who are working with the cause, Track your personal impact, and earn points that you can redeem for t shirts and other prizes.

Help Me Reach My Goal:
I have started a Fundraising page so I can do something to help.  Like a lot of others, I don't have a lot of money, but I want to do something.  My goal is $1000.  Did you know that $20 will help one person have enough water for the rest of their life?  When I reach my goal of $1000, that means we will have helped 50 people.   That is an average of ten families.  Can you donate $1?  $5?  Every little bit helps.  Click here to visit my Fundraising Page!

Actually, I started two fundraising pages.  Every little bit helps, right?  My goal for this page is also $1000.  I will likely start an event to assist with this page.  Click here to visit Do Your Part For Water.

When I meet each of my goals, I will  have helped (with your help) ONE HUNDRED people.

I also recommend you start your own page.  It only takes a second.

Show Your Support:
Facebook:  The Thirst Project
Twitter: The Thirst Project
Facebook: Pure Water for the World
Facebook: Water
Twitter: Water
Join the Cause: charity: water
Join the Cause: The Nature Conservancy

It only takes a minute to show your support.  Be sure to also tell your Facebook friends and Twitter followers about how they can help by sharing this blog entry.

This post is a part of Blog Action Day 2010.  I am so proud to be a part of it.

So, my question is:  What have you done to help the world today?