waterThis March 22nd marks the United Nation’s World Water Day – a day to recognize the huge role that this resource plays in our life and how many people still lack access to clean potable water sources.

This year has been deemed the “International Year of Water Cooperation” and we at Bread and Water for Africa are buckling down and committing (link to article on website) to sustainable, accessible water for our partner communities in Africa.

water1World Water Day is an opportunity to focus on the critical role that freshwater has in our lives and on the fact that so many people around the world STILL do not have access to it.  This precious resource plays a significant role in:

  • Nourishment – particularly in children under-5
    • Many infant formulas require clean freshwater for mixing in order to treat malnourished and/or abandoned children
  • Disease Prevention
    • Cholera, diarrhea, intestinal worms, and malaria are just a few of the many life-threatening diseases caused by drinking water containing bacteria or water that is used by animals and humans for bathing
  • Sanitation world-water-web
    • Many families are limited to the amount of water they can transport home in buckets from the water wells that might be located miles away.  In times of serious drought, it is not rare for a family to only have one bucket to share for a day – rather than prioritizing water usage for sanitation or bathing, a family will likely use it for cooking or drinking instead.
  • Healthcare
    • Clinics are nearly inoperable without water access – think about the many treatments or medications that require water!  We have been lucky enough to partner with clinics in Sierra Leone to ensure that each emergency clinic has an onsite water well.
  • Safety
    • Without easily accessible water sources, children often must travel alone for miles to the nearest water well and then back home. This puts them at an incredible risk for attack and other unknown dangers on the route.

Photo_4At Bread and Water for Africa®, water has always been a key component of our mission – as you can see above, it is inherent to all of our goals and projects.  We know that you also care about freshwater access for all and hope you’ll spend the month of March committing to being advocates for World Water Day!  Here are a few ways you can advocate for the accessibility of this most basic need:

  • Be conscious of your own water consumption!  This website has 100 ways to save water this month – do you have any ways to conserve that aren’t on this list? Let us know!
  • Share your knowledge with those around you.  As the saying goes: “Knowledge is power!” Empower your friends and families to be water advocates!
  • Check out the United Nations World Water Day main website to find out more about the history of World Water Day and ways to be involved in the movement.