Access to Water – A Human Rights issue

Water - A Human Rights issue

“The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights.”

In the USA, casual conversations are often about the weather, coffee, or some trivial reality show. Nothing serious or personal usually gets discussed.

I was reminded of the stark differences on my recent trip to Jamaica, especially during the discussions about water. Perhaps the most frequent conversation involved the following, “we lose water again.” The loss of water is akin to us losing power during a dangerous storm. For most of the developing world, this is a daily occurrence.

I took these photos while visiting a very reclusive member of the Clifton community in Hanover. We chatted, and as we talked she paused to wash her hands, and I took note of her very worn bucket, and the small cans used for water distribution._MG_5907

“To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required…” – President Kennedy

Water is very precious in Jamaica, and much of the developing world. We who are fortunate barely spend a moment thinking about how water affects our daily lives, but for people living in poorer countries it is a daily struggle to survive, and the lack of water is closely intertwined with poverty. In the short time I spent in Jamaica, I experienced water shortages on several occasions, and had to rely on water stored in drums, or similar containers. Yet before the water loss, I was so happy that running water had finally come to the area, I had spent little time considering other issues such as possible shortage.

“Now is the time to act, now is the time to create, now is the time for us to live in a way that will give life to others.”

Consider this: Around the world women spend over 200 million hours per day collecting, and carrying water. And almost a billion people lack running and clean water. Probably most vexing is the fact that every 21 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness.

For more on water challenges, please see the links below. Pledge to make a difference today!

Links:

http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/human_right_to_water.shtml

http://www.water.org

http://www.righttowater.info/

http://www.endwaterpoverty.org/

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