World Water Day is March 22…
What comes to mind when you hear the words “Flint Michigan”.
As of late, it is probably WATER. Lead poisoned water, sick children, an outraged community, and a swarm of citizens and media asking a beleaguered government:
“How could you let this happen?” followed by “You need to fix the problem!”
That is a fair question and a fair expectation. The leadership should be accountable for their actions and lack of actions. To compromise water/health-safety for the sake of a budget is an affront to our “life, liberty, and the pursuit of ANYTHING…” That sentiment is shared by many of us even though we are blessed to live in a region where we have abundant pristine water. But if something like that could happen in Flint, couldn’t it happen here as well?
Shifting our focus just slightly: What comes to mind when you hear the words
“Garde Saline” or “Xesiguan Chimaltenago”?
Chances are, if you haven’t been on a certain mission project, you may have never heard of these communities. Yet, they are far better examples of the challenges to health and wellbeing that is faced daily due to inadequate clean water, sanitation, and hygiene.
“When we have a poor sanitation system, it impacts the health of the entire community, and the consequences can be deadly. I let them know that using the sanitation system is the most appropriate behavior they can do to break the cycle of disease such as Cholera, typhoid, and intestinal infections.” Dr. Cleantu Jean, JR; Garde Saline, Haiti
It is estimated that nearly one billion people throughout the world do not have access to improved drinking water. Over two and one half billion are without access to proper sanitation. Tied to that, over 80 percent of all illnesses in the world are related to contaminated water, poor sanitation, and poor hygiene; nearly 90% in children.
Even more tragic about 5,000 children die every day from those poor conditions. That approaches 2,000,000 childhood deaths each year that people from Flint, Michigan, and the rest of the developed world would consider to be totally preventable and should consider to be totally unacceptable.
Circling back to our question posed for Flint: “How could you let this happen?” “You need to fix the problem!” What if WE are the “you” in that question?
What is our role in “fixing” the problem?
Looking for answers rather than casting blame, we are fortunate that there are MANY people, organizations, and missions that ARE part of the solution. From water treatment systems in Guatemala to water filters in Haiti to deep water wells in Kenya, OR many in media continuing to keep Flint’s story in front of policy makers, it is encouraging to know we can team up with the like-minded to work with local people to introduce smart solutions to difficult problems.
Remember World Water Day is March 22…
Water is health –Water is nature – Water is urban/suburban/rural – Water is agriculture –
Water is industry – Water is energy – Water is Food – Water is Equality – Water is Life
What are YOU doing to celebrate the day?
Tell us about YOUR project(s) and encourage others to get involved! Let us know what kind of projects you are working on, what country, what phase of project, and what help you might need from like-minded citizens.
Share your ideas at cmclain at hugllc dot com
For ideas on promoting Water and Sanitation/Hygiene (WaSH) projects visit: http://www.wasrag.org