Today, March 22, is World Water Day. So what? Water changes everything:
I first learned of World Water Day two years ago. Some of what I wrote then still applies:
I don’t know about you, but I generally don’t even notice just how available water is to me. Among the kitchen sink, the water dispenser in our fridge and our bathrooms, I probably can’t get more than 20 feet away from a water source!
Comparing my water privilege to these stats from around the world is, in a word, sobering:
- About 800 million people in the world lack access to reliable, safe drinking water.
- 90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are children under five years old. Every 20 seconds a child dies from water-related illness.
- The integrated approach of providing water, sanitation and hygiene reduces the number of deaths caused by diarrheal diseases by an average of 65%. (WHO)
Fortunately, there are many organizations doing really good work helping developing countries find and access safe water: Water.org, Charity: Water, National Geographic (which has an eye-opening tool to calculate your water footprint, yikes!), World Health Organization, Blood:Water Mission, and WaterAid.
And, the United Methodist Church through The United Methodist Committee on Relief’s Water Collaboration. (UMCOR is the humanitarian arm of the UMC.)
As far as I can tell, partnering with any one of those organizations is a great and important way to make a difference in the world water crisis (though I haven’t done extensive research into all of them).
For we who follow God in the Way of Jesus – for self-professed Christians – taking up this cause is not optional. How can we claim to love and serve the one we identify as Living Water if we aren’t doing all we can to help sisters and brothers around the world have the water they need to simply live.
How are you celebrating World Water Day?