How Far Do People Walk for Water?

This is a guest blog from Drop in the Bucket! This video is a relatable representation of the time it takes for many Africans to collect their daily water. The average jug full of water can weigh about 40 lbs when full. The burden of fetching water is more commonly placed on women because in about two-thirds or 64% of households women collect water for the family. There is a strong need for clean and safe drinking water since nearly 300 of the 800 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live in a water-scarce environment. While this video highlights collecting water as an “African” problem, we must remember not to generalize because most African’s  communities do have access to water.

We must do all we can to assist those who have to walk hours to collect water. We can help is through supporting the construction of water pipelines for indigenous groups in Tanzania here.

“The video is titled “How long do people in Africa walk to get water?”. The video attempts to frame the water crisis in a different way by setting the long walk for water, that many people in Africa do every day, in an American location.

The video one was directed by Nathan Karma Cox and shot on location in Studio City, CA at Black Market Liquor who generously allowed us to shoot during the day before they opened. The video was produced by Cory Reeder and features music by Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga who played all of the instruments on the track including kazoo. Vocals were provided by Stone Sour guitarist Christian Martucci and the graphics were created by Rodrigo Gava from Gava Productions.” –Drop in the Bucket

Current Event: Yemen Water Crisis

“Yemen is a country on the verge of drying out.” – Michael Cruickshank

Just as food and water became scarce, violence erupted in Yemen. Destructive bombings have damaged a large portion of the infrastructure including an important pipeline in Yemen’s capital city, Sanaa. About 60% of the water that flows through the pipe is lost because of leaks. Groundwater reserves are also drying in Sanaa and the city is currently at risk of running out of water completely. The situation is no better in rural areas where women can spend four or five hours collecting water each day.

There is more to blame than climate change.

“Rainwater harvesting has taken a backseat to drilling and the use of modern pumps and tube wells, which draw too heavily on the finite groundwater supply, the biggest contributor to the current water crisis.” –The Gardian

Groundwater is being pumped much faster than it can be replenished in Yemen, and the government is not taking action to restrict pumping. Some better alternative methods to groundwater pumping would be buying water from agricultural wells and treating water near the coast to make it more drinkable. Yemen is in desperate need of a solution to this water crisis. The Red Cross predicts that it will only be 3-4 months until Yemen faces famine.

Help provide clean water here.

How Far Do People Walk for Water?

This is a guest blog from Drop in the Bucket! This video is a relatable representation of the time it takes for many Africans to collect their daily water. The average jug full of water can weigh about 40 lbs when full. The burden of fetching water is more commonly placed on women because in about two-thirds or 64% of households women collect water for the family. There is a strong need for clean and safe drinking water since nearly 300 of the 800 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live in a water-scarce environment. While this video highlights collecting water as an “African” problem, we must remember not to generalize because most African’s  communities do have access to water.

We must do all we can to assist those who have to walk hours to collect water. We can help is through supporting the construction of water pipelines for indigenous groups in Tanzania here.

“The video is titled “How long do people in Africa walk to get water?”. The video attempts to frame the water crisis in a different way by setting the long walk for water, that many people in Africa do every day, in an American location.

The video one was directed by Nathan Karma Cox and shot on location in Studio City, CA at Black Market Liquor who generously allowed us to shoot during the day before they opened. The video was produced by Cory Reeder and features music by Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga who played all of the instruments on the track including kazoo. Vocals were provided by Stone Sour guitarist Christian Martucci and the graphics were created by Rodrigo Gava from Gava Productions.” –Drop in the Bucket

News to Make You Smile

By Cheryl Mahoney

Do you get tired of hearing about kidnappings and fires and robberies and foreclosures on the news all the time?  If you remember my post a few months ago on this subject, you know I do.  In discussing the news, Henry David Thoreau wrote, “If we read of one man robbed, or murdured, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked…we never need read of another.”  I think that sums it  up rather well, and a hundred and fifty years later, he’s still right.

Smile News

But not to worry, because  I think I found an answer.  Or at the least, a good resource for different news–news that will make you smile.  When looking for something positive, what could be better than Positive News International?  This is a quarterly publication covering news from all over the world, with a focus on the kind of stories that don’t usually show up in mainstream media.  They try to highlight people who are doing great things to better the world, and, ultimately, to inspire others for change.

So instead of reading about a murder on the other side of the country, you can read about Will and Ed.  They’re walking around Britain’s countryside, learning about the places, the land and the people, gathering traditional songs and singing them to earn money to fund the trip along the way.  Who wouldn’t want to hear more about that story?  And I think Thoreau would approve of this sort of endeavor.  Naturally, you can argue that Will and Ed don’t have much relevance to me.  But I think they’re at least as relevant as the man murdered 3,000 miles away–and unfortunately, he’s the one who’ll be on my nightly news.

If you’re not interested in traditional British folk songs, maybe you’d rather read the story about Play Pumps–they’re water pumps that double as merry-go-rounds.  Play Pumps International wants to install their systems in sub-saharan Africa.  The kids get to play, the family gets clean water, the girls get to go to school because they aren’t hauling buckets.  This has to be one of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time.

You can also read the U.S. edition of Positive News.  I love their current front page story: I dare you not to say “aww” over Jasmine, a greyhound who adopts rabbits, chicks, fawns, and whatever else is brought in to the animal sanctuary where she lives.  Or maybe you’d like to read about the school that earned the title “The Kindest Middle School in Maine.”

Of course the bad news is out there, and we do have to pay attention to it because sometimes it matters.  But I find it so reassuring to know that the good news is also out there.  And it matters too.

Easy Actions For Change

By Cheryl Mahoney

One thing I love about my job–I get to spend my work time looking at great, positive, inspiring websites, and then I get to come on here and talk about them!  Today it was Change the World for Ten Bucks, which I found through this article in the Edmond Sun.

PlantTrees

The theory is simple enough.  Many small actions by many people create big change.  I am 100% with them on that belief.  Five years ago, a community organization in London launched a book called Change the World for Ten Bucks.  It was recently printed in the U.S. for the first time.  The book contains fifty suggestions for simple, everyday actions in our daily lives that we can take to change the world.

For example: you can change the world while brushing your teeth.  Rather than leaving the water runnng while you’re brushing, just turn it off.  Over time, you can save gallons of water that way.  Or another option–reduce your plastic bag use.  I’m pleased to say I do that already.  I have a big black bag I drag everywhere, so if I’m getting a sandwich to go at Subway, I always say “no, thanks” to the plastic bag and just drop my wrapped-up sandwich in my own bag (so far, no problems with sandwich ingredients spilling out).

If you go to the website, you can find a few action suggestions from the book, and also an opportunity to add your own action.  So check it out for some good ideas–though my favorite part is the overall message, that small simple actions really can change the world.

Want some other ways to change the world for ten bucks?  You can give children crayons or prevent malaria or promote peace in the Philippines.  For just ten bucks.

A Thirst for Knowledge Can Donate Water

By Cheryl Mahoney

Just the other day I stumbled across a great way to give, for free.  I found FreePoverty.com.  Similar in concept to FreeRice.com, mentioned in an earlier post, you play a knowledge-based game, and correct answers mean giving to someone in need. 

waterfall

FreePoverty.com’s game is geography-based, and allows you to give cups of water.  I found the game rather addicting!  A city and country (sometimes a landmark) pops up at the top of the window, and you have a limited amount of time to click the correct location on the map.  A flag then drops onto the page to show you the exact location, so you can see how close you got.

One aspect I love to the game is that you can get partial credit.  Perfect answers donate ten cups of water, but for close answers smaller amounts are donated, amount varying on how good your answer is.  You can keep playing until you get five answers completely wrong.  In a single game, you can give hundreds of cups of water to people in need, while honing your geography skills.  How can you go wrong with that?  And you can play as many times as you want.

Over 1 billion people in the world don’t have access to clean drinking water.  But here’s a fun and easy way to help.  So far, FreePoverty.com has given over 90 million cups of water!

Looking for other ways to give involving water?  Click here.