Unsurprisingly, spending a day reading other people’s blogs about water has got me all fired up… er. Something like that.
So, now that we know that, what do we do?
I know that I have trouble confronting numbers like: 900,000,000. That’s the number of people who don’t have access to clean water, or even minimally safe water. 2.6 Billion lack access to “improved sanitation”.
The child mortality rates are staggering, disheartening, and chilling. They weren’t all consistent, but there are thousands every day. This isn’t a new issue; we were collecting pennies for water issues when I was a kid. I want this problem solved, because it is a long-standing moral failure of our society and given the absurd levels of wealth and technological development in the world, it is utterly indefensible.
But I’m afraid of losing momentum. I have doubt that we can rally the collective will necessary to solve this problem, not because it’s technically difficult, but because we are so caught up in our own stuff that the truth of the situation fades in the face of our day-to-day lives.
One thing I’ve done to keep this front-and-centre is to change my computer desktop, so that it has one of the BIG issues on it, and I have to look at it every time I turn the computer on:
Dirty Water kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
So after writing to all of you, and after spending the day immersed (if you will allow me) in this information, I am writing to my MP to urge him to stand for clean water and the UN Millennium Development Goals. We will never be on track to solve Child and Maternal Mortality, Ending Hunger and Poverty, or Environmental Sustainability if we don’t take meaningful action on water issues. Who will join me? Contact your representative in whatever that form takes, and let them know that we want government action, not just what we can accomplish at the tap.