Thank you for joining us again today as we continue on our “Live Below the Line” challenge. Yesterday we looked at the issue of hunger, an issue that affects more than 870 million people around the world. Today we will look at an issue that affects over 1 billion people globally, and that is the inability to have clean drinking water and proper sanitation.
As the video above states, Water Changes Everything. In Africa, there is a saying that “Water is Life”. Just like hunger, it is an issue that has wide-reaching effects that trickle down such as the obvious—chronic illness, but also affects education, job loss, and food insecurity. In developing countries, where 99% of the water shortages occur, the average time a woman or child spends collecting water a day is 3 hours. That is 3 hours taken that could be spent towards education, farming, or sustaining a business.
Just like hunger, water is a solvable problem. There are many innovative ways to make a huge impact in the lives of over 1 billion people that require little effort on our part, but rather a collective effort from the world. There are new inventions in water filtration, such as filtered straws and filtered water bottles, that can take unhealthy water and filter out sickness and disease, while tried and true methods like digging wells and water sheds can change an entire villages sustainability. Although 99% of water shortages occur in developing countries, natural disasters can strike at any moment, such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that leave people without water for up to a week.
The statistics on the inability to obtain clean drinking water are staggering. Approximately 4,100 mothers lose a child to diarrhea daily, which is one child every 21 seconds. This is at the equivalent rate of a jumbo jet crashing every 4 hours.
Rarely discussed, but equally important is a topic that goes hand-in-hand, sanitation. Did you know that the shower we take each morning is equivalent to the amount of water someone in Africa would use in an entire week? More people in the world have a cell phone than a toilet.
So what are we to do? How can we help those so desperately in need of something so simple? I have placed some links below with organizations that are seeking to make changes in how people obtain, clean, and maintain water sources in an affordable and sustainable way. I invite you to check them out to learn more. Please leave a comment below if you know of additional resources. This week is a learning experience for both Heidi and I and we would welcome any input you would have.
Brian Day 2:
Today was an interesting lesson and learning experience. I forgot to prepare my lunch meal the night before so I had to wake up at 4:30am to prepare my meal in time to leave for work. Lentils and rice take a considerable amount of time to boil down. I thought about those who have to prepare food in developing countries and how much effort it must take to do this daily, expelling valuable energy and time in the process. I had the comfort of turning my gas stove to boil and filling it with water from the tap, a process much more difficult for others that I had never considered. I also noticed that I was considerably more tired today than yesterday and it’s probably the lack of nutrients and sleep combined, not to mention I’m missing my normal 4 cups of coffee in the morning. I made it through the rest of the day okay by spacing out my meals better and just finished a delicious bowl of Roast Chicken Ramen noodles…yum processed. Heidi and I watched A Place at the Table tonight and I was left speechless. It is easy to envision starving children that we see on television from developing countries and be disconnected, but this movie faces the problem of hunger in America, a country that has more than enough food to sustain its population, but chooses not to through government bureaucracy and greed. It also tackles the parallel between hunger and obesity following the story of those who have to choose saturated and processed foods over healthy alternatives due to cost and lack of supply. A particularly shocking observation was from the midwest where residents have to drive over an hour to a grocery store to get fruits and vegetables because the smaller mom & pop stores simply don’t carry them.
Heidi Day 2:
Today I had the pleasure of spending some time with my best friend, Kate, as she anxiously awaits the arrival of baby Molly. Kate and I are both preparing our hearts to become mothers, and we discussed how awful it must be for mothers around the world who do not have enough food to feed their children and who do not have access to clean drinking water. The highlight of my day was being with Kate at 1:50 and being able to pray together for the people of Korah, of the United States, and all around the world, that go hungry and do not have access to clean water. We live in a time and place where drinking filtered water from disposable bottles is a fad- while people walk 3 hours just to obtain the water that they need to survive. Among other things, today has definitely changed my perspective on and appreciation for clean drinking water and access to food. We are blessed beyond measure.
How can you help?
Please join us again tomorrow at 1:50 PM to lift the residents of Korah and the 1.4 billion people in the world who are struggling to meet their most basic needs. Tomorrow we will focus on the important issue of war . If you feel called, you can click on the Donate button below, or visit the blog, A Heart for Korah, an organization that provides direct aid to this area—you can find a link on our sidebar. If you donate below or through their site—please include “Live Below the Line” fundraiser in a message to seller. You can also email us for a physical address to mail a donation. Thank you in advance for all of your support.