According to UNICEF, 1.1 billion people drink unsafe water. Unsafe water supplies are responsible for 88% of all disease.
Young girls continue to be the primary carriers of water for their communities despite widescale rape and assault on the water routes. Travelling to water can also mean that young girls do not go to school or that, in the case of refugees, their travel takes them back into war zones or across dangerous ethnic lines in camps. Women and girls are also rendered unsafe trying to find private places to use the bathroom as the largest part of the 2.5 billion people living without proper sanitation. Sadly, going to the bathroom without a safe toilet can translate into being trafficked or assaulted. If the fecal matter reaches the water, which it inevitable does, it also translates to missed school time for children and missed work or added care work for women caregivers.
Women charged with feeding themselves and their families are also negatively impacted by the lack of water (clean or otherwise) because they are unable to cultivate safe subsistence crops. Unclean water in Latin America, due to the polluting of water ways by MNCs, has resulted in birth defects, miscarriages, deformities, and, organ deterioration, and chronic illness. Not having enough food also means limited brain and organ development in small children and not enough breast milk for babies. Formula, requires water.
Water is a feminist issue. Water is a global issue.
Today is World Water Day, when organizations working for global access to clean water share their work and individuals like you and I can help make a difference in the number of people with access to clean, safe, water.
You can find ways to help by:
- contacting any of the organizations sponsoring world water day here
- Learning more about water through places involved in the effort here and here
- Donate to the cause here
- Raise awareness about clean water in your area
- Host a fundraiser for an agency working on clean water
- Volunteer at either an international organization working on water issues or in your own communities where susbsistence level and homeless people may not have clean water either