I took two showers yesterday. That was probably eight or nine gallons of clean, drinkable water. Just like every other day, it didn’t cross my mind to be thankful for clean, running water. I’ve had it all of my life and have never had a reason to doubt that it would be there when I turned the knob. The story is the same with the other 190 gallons I used yesterday.
This is not the situation for almost half of humanity. Here are some of the startling statistics:
- Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.
- There are around 1.8 million child deaths each year as a result of diarrhea.
- 443 million school days are lost each year from water-related illness.
- Close to half of all people in developing countries are suffering at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits. (Source)
The answer is not to sit around feeling guilty about the water we use. That would not benefit anyone. Plus, I don’t want you taking fewer showers. That would be adding one problem to another.
One thing we can do is to support organizations like Blood:Water Mission as part of our regular monthly giving. B:WM has delivered clean water to over 276,000 people in Africa. If you are wondering how you could possibly help, their website says that $1 provides one year of clean water for an African.
One dollar. One year. One person.
Let us continue to align ourselves with God’s heartbeat for the poor. Even if we aren’t the ones digging the wells, our support of an organization like Blood:Water Mission can connect us with the ways that God is at work in the pain of poverty throughout the world.
One thought on “H2O”
It seems that with so much of the poverty and human rights violations in the world, a minor tweaking of priority and a reallocation of resources is all it would take to turn the whole problem around. I’m not saying digging wells or feeding the hungry or setting slaves free is easy. But this whole thing of one dollar supplying enough clean water for one person for one year gives me hope. These scarcities and their pesky cousins (disease, famine, homelessness, death) do not have to have the final say. There are tangible, doable solutions. Today, as I think of all that’s wrong with the world, I am strangely filled with some kind of hope.