Water covers approximately two-thirds of the planet’s surface. Most of it is far too salty to use. Less than 3% of the water on Earth is suitable for use and about two-thirds of that is contained in the world’s icecaps and glaciers. Therefore about 1% of all the water on the planet is suitable for consumption and sanitation.
Obviously,the amount of safe water in the world is limited and according to charity: water a billion people (approx. 1 in 8 ) have no access to clean drinking water.
…. And Not A Drop To Drink.
As a result more than 3.5 million people die every year from water related diseases such as Botulism, Cholera, Dysentery, Typhoid Fever and Hepatitis. 84% (almost 3 million) of these deaths are children and 90% of these deaths occur in the developing world. In fact unsafe water kills more people every year than violence and war combined!
The Effects of Poor Sanitation:
Poor sanitation is one of the leading causes of water contamination, with over
2.5 billion people having no access to a toilet – and 1.2 billion with no facilities at all – it is the world’s leading source of infection. At any one time, half of the worlds hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from diseases caused by improper sanitary conditions and unclean drinking water.
More people in the world own a mobile phone than have access to a toilet!
Implications For Women:
In Africa alone, women spend a staggering 200 million hours collecting water for their families. They could walk for miles to their nearest source, which is often polluted. The time spent walking many miles to collect water, the less time they have to spend caring for their families. While walking to collect water, a woman is vulnerable to harassment and sexual assault.
On average a woman will carry 3 jerry cans of water home, which weighs as much as a baby giraffe!
Implications For Children:
In 2010, diarrhoea remains in the second leading cause of death among children under five. Nearly one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhea. Diarrhoea is responsible causes more death in children under 5 than malaria, measles and AIDS combined. Children who only have access to dirty drinking water carry more than 1,000 parasites in their body at any one time.
Children often accompany their mothers to collect water, meaning children will often miss school or drop out completely to complete this necessary task.
Globally, children with water related illnesses lose 443 million school days a year!
What Can You Do To Help?
There are countless charities out there whose mission it is to help those affected by the water crisis. With a small donation you can help contribute to the costs of drilling wells and constructing toilet facilities for communities all over the world.
I would like to encourage other bloggers to participate in Blog Action Day and blog about the issues of water safety and the ever-growing water crisis. Registration is quick and easy.
Sign petitions, fundraise for your favourite charity and remember,