Six hundred and sixty three million people in the world live without clean water. That’s nearly 1 in 10 people worldwide or, twice the population of the United States. The majority of these people live in isolated rural areas and spend hours every day walking to collect water for their family. Not only does walking for water keep kids out of school or take up time that parents could be using to earn money, but the water often carries diseases that can make everyone sick.
When people don’t have access to clean water, they drink disease-filled water instead.
They don’t have a choice. Usually, the job of walking miles to get water for daily use falls to women and children, who might walk up to four hours every day to collect dirty water. That’s time they can’t spend caring for their families, earning income, or learning in school. When a community gets clean water, lots can change. It can improve health, reduce medical expenses, increase equality, give girls more time in school, and give women the chance to grow food or earn income.
With the help of hundreds of thousands of generous supporters, Charity: Water has funded more than 16,000 water projects in 24 countries, bringing clean water to 5.2 million people so far. A few years ago, I joined in the effort, dedicated my birthday to raising funds to support this amazing cause, and had the best birthday ever! Our goal was to reach $10,000 – enough to develop a new water well for a remote Village in Northern Ethiopia that would provide clean, safe water for more than 300 people.
We exceeded our goal thanks to the incredibly generous support of family, friends, business associates and clients of California Resource Strategies. Today, that water well is providing water, and Charity: Water’s project partners in Ethiopia are educating local villagers about keeping it safe, secure and maintained for many years to come.