It’s been almost two years since we moved and I don’t miss the old house much anymore. What I DO miss, however, is the extra space, AND the second bathrooom. We are four (sometimes five) people living in a house with one bathroom. Over the last two weeks, there have been at least two of us sick with some virus or another at any given time and there has been a lot of pounding on the door, begging, and yes, probably also cursing. Even when there’s no one sick, it’s inevitable that the minute someone gets in the shower, someone else will NEED to use the bathroom for other things. There is so little privacy!!!
These are first world problems. Did you know 1 in 3 people worldwide do not have access to a safe, private toilet? Here are some other statistics that put our first world problems in their proper light:
- 768 million people in the world today do not have access to safe drinking water —roughly 1 in 10 of the world’s population.
- Around 2,000 children die every day from water related diseases.
- Women in developing countries typically walk an average distance of 4 miles each day on her trek for water. A typical jerry can of water weighs 40 pounds.
- According to the world bank: $220 billion would be added to the global economy each year if we were to provide toilets and sanitation to everyone currently without it.
- Just $25 can help one person access a lasting supply of safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation.
- Having safe water and gender-segregated toilets in school keeps girls from dropping out once they begin menstruating.
World Water Day is March 22. In honor of that day, one of my teammates on the Global Team of 200, Jennifer Barbour, is in Nicaragua this week with WaterAid, getting a firsthand look at community involvement around water, toilets and hygiene education stands to revolutionize life within the Latin American Caribbean region. If you’d like to read about it, you can check out Jennifer’s blog. Here’s an excerpt:
Since being here, I’ve been amazed at the high level of poverty and near absence of running water all around me. I found out that less than 20% of people in this area have access to basic water and sanitation. We have seen some taps in the urban area of Bilwi that are connected to the municipal supply that are completely dry. I’m told they only get water every two or three days.
WaterAid is proving that even the impossible can be won. Because of donor
support from people who won’t take poverty for an answer, WaterAid has been able
to help over 19 million people gain access to safe water since 1981, and reached
15.1 million people with toilets and sanitation since 2004. That’s millions of stories
of how individual lives have been transformed in some of the world’s poorest,
hardest to reach places.
Our approach is simple: work side-by side with the local community to ignite
monumental change by giving them the tools that they need to break down barriers
and make water and toilets an accessible reality for everyone in their community.
Learn more about how we make it happen, and how you can be part of it all:
What’s your #waterstory?