World Water Day

March 22, 2010

In the midst of all the hubbub concerning world water day and related events, I was caught by my dear friend Gina's words on Twitter this afternoon.

She wrote: When I hear, "Take action on World Water Day", I think, help orphans get access to clean water. I don't think, buy a low-flow shower head.

I was thankful, as usual, for her passion for the things that matter most. Kudos to those of you with low flow shower heads (personally? I take 15 minuters, and I love the feel of my super high flow head for every single second of those fifteen minutes), but I think we need to consider the purpose behind our actions.

My boss' husband said to me last week that he has noticed more evangelicals paying attention to the environment because damage to the environment is damage to people. Unclean water in the Chao Phraya River is unclean water in the mouths of the children of Thailand. Environmental issues in Nairobi's slums spread disease throughout the poorest of Kenya

Damage to the environment is damage to people.

People are what matter. 

This week, I think we need to focus on caring about the environment because it affects 1.6 million children every year that die of preventable, water-related disease. I think we need to focus on the world water crisis because there are women across the globe - today - that fear rape every time they find a place to go to the bathroom at night. I think we need to focus on providing clean water because there are girls across Africa carrying jugs on their heads and walking miles home from the nearest well, instead of getting an education. I think we need to focus on sanitation issues because those same girls are growing up without ever experiencing what it means to have equality, because their menstrual cycles keep them out of school.

Educate yourself:
  •  here. 
  • Here is another a fascinating place to learn about water issues affecting women across the globe.
  • Facts about the water crisis here. 
  • If you are on twitter, some excellent people to follow for information on water issues are:@achildsrightl @WaterAid @Water4Africa @global_water@LiveEarth @waterforpeople @causecast @Water1st @wateradvocates @charitywater

What you can do:
(photos mine - taken in Uganda in 2008).


Phoenix said...

So spot on, Shanley. I remember that quote that said, "Save the planet? The planet's gonna be fine, it's the people that are screwed!" And while I don't happen to think that the planet is going to be FINE, I do think that the reason we need to respect it and treat it like it won't be around forever is because of our children, and our children's children. I don't want my child to never swim in the ocean because it's too contaminated or watch as another epidemic sweeps across a country because clean water is not longer a viable option. We are not just fighting for the planet's survival...we are fighting for ours.