Thursday, March 22, 2012

World H2O day.....

Awareness is key. 
Thinking about a world - or area of the world - with out water is difficult for many.  Especially those of us who live and grew up on the "wet" coast.  In a city where the annual rainfall is1117.2 mm per year finding water is not a problem.  It's simple, we turn a tap and voila safe, affordable, clean water for anything we need.  24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it is available.  On the rare occasion the water main is turned off for maintenance, we think we suffer.  We get notice of when that suffering is  o happen and are given an approximate time line.   We "prepare for the disaster"by filling pots & containers, refrigerating, and if it is going to be a really long time we fill our bathtubs  "Just in case".  We think we suffer. HA, we do not know the meaning of the word.  In my small home alone there are 8 sources where water comes into my home or yard.  Water is available in a wide variety of locations.  From my home I can drive for less than 1/2 an hour in several directions and end up at the ocean or at a fresh water lake, where I can swim, and enjoy many recreational activities.  Water is certainly NOT scarce. We are most fortunate, we should not take this life giving resource for granted.

"Water" source ... notice the garbage and the goats
However, that is not the reality for 100' of 1000's of people who live in climates where they see under 20mm rainfall per year.  If that rain comes in "HOT" season, the water often evaporates BEFORE it even hits the ground.  Then imagine not having a tap, imagine having to walk for  2 kms or more to fetch water only to have to CARRY it back home, on your back, on your head, in buckets by hand.  Only to have to repeat this task again the next day and the next and the next, every day of your life when you require water.  This is how you obtain the water you will use for EVERYTHING, drinking, cooking, gardening, feeding animals, bathing - E*V*E*R*Y*T*H*I*N*G.  In many cases the water source is small, stagnant, polluted, shared with animals, used for bathing and laundry,as well as 100's of people who also walk several kilometers there and back daily just for water. Scenarios like this are ones we in North America can not even begin to fathom. Yet this is REALITY for millions in this world.  Water, the most basic of human need clean drinking water is not something they ever take for granted by these people.
"drinking" water in a market stall in Niamey

Women gather at the well for water

As with most things, unless you have experienced this first hand you can not fathom the issue.  Awareness and education are KEY.  That is why we need world water day.

Here is a little history of World Water Day

If you are looking to be able to help,  here is  a link to the Alliance Compassion Catalog  see page 4 on wells and helping get them built.  Page 22 is the form to fill out in order to give. 

This is my friend Adam, a village leader, drawing water from one of the wells built as an Alliance Compassion project. The well is just a few 100 meters from the center of his village.  It provides fresh, clean, safe water for his village of about 1000 people.  Saving them 1000's hours of "water walking" annually.  Adam has also said that the health of his village has improved since the well was constructed.  That is an invaluable gift.  It is the gift of life, of health and most of all the gift of HOPE for the people in Teppe.  It is is life!

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