World Water Day is on March 22, 2008. You may never have heard of this international happening as I had not but it started in 1992 and came out of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development also known as UNCED. The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to make us aware that over 1 billion people in our world don’t have safe drinking water. This equals the death of over 4,000 children a day! According to Water Sanitation.com 4 out of 10 people in the world don’t have (never mind a toilet) a pit latrine and 2 out of 10 people don’t have access to safe drinking water. The United Nations will be acknowledging World Water Day on Thursday, March 20, 2008.
There are many ways and a lot of organizations that are part of this important day.
Thirst Relief International has water projects in areas such as Kenya, India and Mexico. They are challenging us to only drink water on March 22. Of course you’ll donate the money you save to their organization. I start my day with an iced decaf coffee in the $3.00 range. I might have a soda costing $.50. My husband will have a glass of wine or a bottle of beer – $3.00. Off the top of my head on an average day my household drinks over $6.00 worth of non water beverages. If we multiply that by all of us that’s a big donation. You may be asking why you’re doing this. There are many reasons. The beverages you don’t drink might fix a broken well pump or install a water filter that translated to clean water.
An advocacy guide called 2005 – 2015 Celebrating Water for Life, The International Decade for Action has given us some ideas of what we can do to help the plight of our one billion world mates in addition to donating your beverage money.
1. Tell people via the newspaper, radio stations, and Public Service Announcements.
2. Organize a concert or fair that centers on awareness of this problem.
3. Ask for donations through the schools. Hold a fundraiser such as a children’s drawing competition/raffle.
4. Call your local representatives.
5. Make a book of songs, poems or a list of books that feature water-related themes.
6. If you live in a warm climate have water related activities in a lake or ocean.
7. Give factual information to people. Let people know that they must turn off their water faucet while they are brushing their teeth. We taught our children to do this when they were small. They did as we did and we all still do. It’s alien to me to let the water run unless it’s necessary.
The Tap Project is a grassroots organization which helps UNICEF make people aware that water is a privilege and the lack of clean water is the second largest killer of children under the age of 5 years old. What is the Tap Project? Between Sunday, March 16 through Saturday March 22 restaurants will ask their patrons to donate at least $1.00 for the tap water they would normally just get put in front of them. You may have noticed that in some restaurants (At least I have) there are signs that say water is served upon request. You may have been in a hotel recently that tells you they won’t do your linens every day unless you request it to save water. People are learning!
It’s hard to imaging that for every dollar the restaurants raise a child will be able to drink and use clean water for 40 days. Think about how we take water for granted and re-read that sentence. Be aware that not all restaurants will be participating in this event. You may only want to go to one that is!
UNICEF has reached 90 countries and provided clean water and sanitation facilities. Their goal by 2015 is to reduce the number of people who don’t have this basic resource by half.
RESOURCE:The Tap Project
RESOURCE:Celebrating Water for Life
RESOURCE:Thirst Relief International