70% of the world’s fresh water supply goes to agriculture; yet, one half of the world’s hospitalization is due to water-related diseases. This problem should not be looked upon as a burden of responsibility but as an opportunity-a chance- to give back, to make a difference. It is said that in helping others, we help ourselves; and whatever we give out, completes the circle and comes back to us. What are the conditions and needs of those without clean, safe water?
The first level of need is the prevention of dehydration. Mainly women and children walk 3-5 miles each way to get water. The unfortunate part of this is that the water collected is contaminated. The water sources can be swampy shores, ponds, or rivers. Many times this is the same water where the villagers bathe, wash their dishes, or go to the bathroom. It can also be the same area where dangerous, poisonous snakes live or where men hide in the bushes waiting for the water gatherer to come, and then they attack or rape them. This then also contributes to the spread of AIDS. All of these conditions compound the problem of retrieving water. Once the woman or child does arrive at the water source, the time to wait their turn and to actually collect the water takes hours. The “jeri” cans are lined up in order of whose turn it is, and then a small cup is used to fill the can with the water. Often when the women return to their village, they are abused by their husbands because it took them such a long time to get the water.
Water 4 Kids International works hard to meet the needs of those who most lack access to safe, clean water. The number 1 killer of these people is malaria followed by measles, dysentery-caused by dirty water- and AIDS. What is so regrettable about this is that the diseases named are both preventable and treatable. There is a dire need to stop the spread of these diseases.
There is also the need to educate the children and the adults in the villages. Most often girls are responsible for getting the water. Therefore they do not get to go to school. In some villages, it is the job of children in general to collect the water. So each day choices have to be made. Do children get water for their families or do they get to go to school? In villages where it is the women’s responsibility to get the water, they too have to make the choice to go get water or to leave their young children alone all day. To complicate these people’s lives even more, they live on or near the equator where the sun’s rays are extremely dangerous. These very high temperatures cause the area to become even drier, so finding water becomes more difficult. The amazing thing is that the people of these countries accept the life they have been given. If a person or their child is thirsty, they will drink. They must be taught that contaminated water is dirty, and that it has to be boiled. Water 4 Kids International includes education of the villagers as a very important part of their overall plan.
Unfortunately, current statistics show that every 14 seconds someone dies from lack of water. By 2025 it is estimated that 5.5 billion people, two- thirds of the planet’s population, will be faced with moderate to severe water problems. Clean water transforms lives, communities, and generations. The needs are numerous, but solutions are plenty.
Imagination is a key to a company’s success, and so the same should hold true for finding ways in bringing safe, clean water to those in need.