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

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NGO Spotlight: Empower and Care Organization

Empower and Care Organization (EACO) is a Community Based Organization run by Ugandans to address the limited educational and economic opportunities that exist for vulnerable groups of women and children in Mukono County, Uganda.  EACO’s vision to implement activities that provide opportunities to the reduce poverty and HIV/AIDS in the Mukono community.

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EACO interventions focus on poverty reduction and address the effects of HIV/AIDS for a majority of vulnerable women, particularly widows and those living with HIV/AIDS, as well as vulnerable children, youth, and the elderly.

The Need: EACO seeks to help children attend school in Uganda. Education and poverty go hand in hand, and many of young people don’t have the opportunity or fees to go to school, let alone afford other basic necessities of life. Under this project, ACO provides school fees and materials, medication, and food for needy families.

EACO also leads WASH Projects to deliver trainings on hygiene promotion, construction of latrines for the schools, and repairing the 69 damaged boreholes in the Mukono communities. Additionally, they provide education on the links between water, sanitation and health, and the nature of and threats posed by environmental diseases,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe importance and main elements of hygiene-promotion and the complexities of delivering safe water and sanitation in an emergency.

EACO wants to make clean water accessible within 1 kilometer for 100% of the people in rural Mukono. By constructing and repairing fresh water wells throughout rural areas, EACO will bring relief to thousands of residents, including those in surrounding communities, significantly improving the health and wellbeing of the residents.

The vision and philosophy of EACO is based on the belief that every human being is a unique individual and that we all have a right to good health and basic needs and should access means to a comfortable life in one way or another.

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EACO believes that the first priority is that people should have a sustainable life.

However, almost equally important is that an individual’s life should have meaning and that they should develop independence. This is being achieved through care, then empowerment and support. This begins with infrastructure to give the Mukono communities clean water and latrines and stop the spread of disease. It is only then that communities can benefit from education. With improved health comes the ability to be employable, to generate income and escape from poverty.

To learn more about opportunities to donate to or volunteer with with EACO, which is a vetted NGO partner of UniversalGiving, check out their website!

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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

Are You a Water Waster?

It’s World Water Week and this year’s theme is wastewater. About 80% of the water we use goes down the drain. The water we don’t use flows back into nature and pollutes the environment.  Take this quiz to find out if you are a water waster.

Here are some ways to conserve water!

  1. When washing dishes by hand or brushing your teeth, don’t let the water run.
  2. Use dishwashers. They use less water than washing dishes by hand.
  3. Use a reusable water bottle when drinking, even at home. This reduces the number of glasses that you need to wash.
  4. When you scrape pots and pans clean, soak them instead of letting the water run.
  5. Throw food, oils, and trash in the garbage, not down the sink. Limit your use of the garbage disposal.
  6. Water plants only when they need it because more plants die from overwatering than underwatering.
  7. Use your extra sink water or bathtub water to water your plants or wash your car.

There’s a lot we can do to conserve water. For World Water Week also consider giving to people who do not have access to clean water.

You can provide solar powered running water for orphans in Africa here.

Visit Water Use it Wisely to learn more water saving strategies

 

Sustainability Spotlight: Kickstart International

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Have you traveled to Africa? When we hear this word, most of us think of the elephants and the giraffes of the savannah, the peaks of Kilimanjaro, or the beaches of Cote d’Ivoire. These amazing sights make it easy to lose track of the small-scale farmers that make up 80% of those living in poverty. These families often find that hard work is not enough to combat low rainfall and water shortages. How do you make use of the water you have? And how do you create sustainability? Kickstart International brings irrigation tools and techniques to Sub-Saharan Africa to rejuvenate these farmlands.

Kickstart International (Kickstart) began when founders Dr. Martin Fisher and Nick Moon started to question traditional techniques in addressing poverty. They wanted to combine new technology that would address the problem with marketplace sustainability. Their collaboration resulted in the creation of products that were made exclusively for poor, rural African farmers. These tools would increase the crop output, resulting in a more sustainable income for the farmers. However, these tools were not handouts – Fisher and Martin were determined to sell low-cost, high-quality irrigation pumps at an affordable price so that families and communities could raise themselves out of poverty.

For over 15 years, Kickstart has provided over 1 million people the opportunity to feed, clothe, and educate themselves while still having some money left over to save for the future. In total, they have sold over 287, 435 pumps. Kickstart is currently working in 16 countries in Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, and South Sudan. The organization focuses on these four areas: increasing incomes, enabling food security, empowering women, and increasing resilience to climate change.

The Time Is Now. Click Here to Watch Kickstart’s Video about Innovation and Action.

Kickstart International.jpgIf you would like to learn more about Kickstart International’s innovation, you can check out their page on the UniversalGiving website! 

A Lesson on Water from The Jungle Book – Blog Action Day 2010

By Cheryl Mahoney

This year’s topic for Change.org’s Blog Action Day is water.  How often do we think about water?  And yet, how often does it touch our lives?  Maybe we don’t think about it because it’s so ubiquitous.  And because, for most of us who are likely to be online reading this, it seems so easily accessible.

But that isn’t true for a lot of the world.

I had a brief experience of my own recently that brought home how dependent we are on those ready-to-hand faucets.  The water in my apartment building had to be shut off unexpectedly for an hour or two one evening.  And I found myself confronted by all the things I needed water for.

It was time to cook dinner–but I didn’t have any water.  Pasta was out.  So was rice.  Vegetables–oh wait, can’t rinse them.  Can’t clean a pot if I do find something to cook, or rinse off my plate after I eat.  I could put the plate in the dishwasher, but I can’t run it.

It was a hot night–but a shower was out.  So was using the bathroom for any other purpose!

I couldn’t pour a glass of water to drink.  And if this had gone on long enough, I would have eventually encountered other problems–I couldn’t water my plant, couldn’t clean a counter, couldn’t do laundry or wash my hands.

Of course, I managed.  I have a freezer, so I could heat up frozen food that didn’t need any water.  I have a fridge, so I could drink a glass of juice.  And I have air conditioning, so my apartment was cool.  And because the water came on again after only an hour or two, no problem became all that big.

But a lot of the world doesn’t have those solutions.  And they don’t have easily accessible, clean water.

One billion people lack access to clean water.

From what I’ve read, the problem isn’t exactly that people don’t have water.  Everyone seems to find SOME way to get water.  But the problem is the diseases that result from lack of clean water, and the difficulties and hardships that have to be endured to fetch water.

Not to ruin any childhood memories, but do you remember that scene near the end of the Jungle Book cartoon?  (Disclaimer: I’m a big Disney fan, so don’t take this observation to be a sign of hostility against the Mouse!)  Mowgli sees the native girl for the first time, and what is she doing?  She’s fetching water.  And she’s singing about how she “must go to fetch the water, until the day that I am grown.”  A few lines later, she sings that someday she’ll have a daughter “and I’ll send her to fetch the water.”

That’s it in a nutshell, glossed over by Disney positivity.  To put a real world perspective on it…because the native girl is fetching water, she’s not going to school.  She’s not working, either in her home or in some position to earn money.  She’s spending her time fetching water.  She’s going out into the jungle, probably carrying a container that is too heavy to be healthy, and if Mowgli is the most dangerous thing she encounters, she’ll be doing better than many girls.  If nothing changes, her daughter will go on to repeat the cycle.

Here are some ways to take action, and share clean water with people who need it–so maybe Mowgli’s daughter can spend her time doing something better than fetching water.

Give $120 to give a family a water handpump

Give $25 to give one person clean water

Support community water committees in Central America

Give $140 to provide 300 families in Pakistan with water

Give $20 to give a classroom water