650 million people across the world live without access to clean water.
That equates to 1 in every 10 people worldwide.
Or, twice the population of the United States.
Access to clean water is a fundamental human right. But obtaining this basic life necessity can be backbreaking, all consuming work that sustains gender inequality. Women and young girls devote their days to lugging 40 pounds of water for miles. How these women spend their time hinders their ability to invest in their futures and make an equal contribution to society. Beyond gender inequality, the community is faced with drinking contaminated water which could be carrying life-threatening diseases such as cholera or giardia.
The Impact of Clean Water:
- In Africa alone, women spend 40 billion hours a year risking their well-being to collect contaminated water.
- With access to clean water, women have the time to become active members of society, contributing to the overall prosperity of their community.
2. Women and Girls
- Women are responsible for 72% of the water collected in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- When clean water is accessible, women are no longer locked in the cycle of poverty that is induced by spending their days looking for water.
- Inadequate access to hygienic and private sanitation facilities is a source of shame and physical discomfort for women.
- They often wait until night falls to relieve themselves.
- Girls drop out of school during menstruation.
- Proper sanitation provides women and girls with dignity.
- It also helps girls stay in school so they can attain a higher quality of life down the road.
- Diseases from dirty water kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
- 43% of those deaths are children under 5 years old.
- Death across all age groups can be reduced by access to clean water and sanitation.
Lifting the burden of finding clean water means a change for everyone in the community. It means education, opportunities, employment, independence, prosperity, and health.
Simply put: clean water means life.