UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY COMMEMORATED WITH NEW RESEARCH: 300 MILLION SCHOOL CHILDREN WORLDWIDE LACK ACCESS TO CLEAN, SAFE DRINKING WATER
Global Water Challenge Report Urges Citizens to Act on Behalf of
Children Worldwide Affected by the Global Water Crisis
Washington, DC – (November 20, 2009) – In recognition of Universal Children’s Day, established by the United Nations General Assembly as a day to promote the protection, welfare and education of the children of the world, Global Water Challenge (GWC) today released “Clean Start: Focusing on School Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.” The report identifies the challenges and solutions associated with the global water crisis and its effect on children. It identifies access to clean drinking water as one of the leading health threats to children around the world today and the cause for millions of deaths and education loss each year.
Every day, more than 300 million children attend schools without safe drinking water or access to a clean toilet. Without clean water, children cannot wash their hands and disease travels rapidly through crowded classrooms, causing sickness and forcing kids to miss and often drop out of school. In the long term, educational achievement is one of the most important determinants of health, life expectancy, economic productivity and the well-being of future generations. Those most burdened by this crisis are women and girls who are oftentimes forced to walk 6 km (3.7 miles) each day to secure water that is likely unsuitable for drinking. Girls who have to help their mothers fetch water often arrive to school late, or not at all.
There are solutions available to help combat this crisis. GWC currently supports school programs that provide clean and safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene to communities around the world. Where schools lack access to water, GWC assists through the collection of rainwater – known as rainwater harvesting – or by building wells. If the school has access to only dirty water, GWC works to provide water filters and chlorine tablets. These current programs are taking place in countries around the world such as Kenya, Tanzania, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Schools are one way to reach thousands of children each day with these common-sense inputs for improved health.
“It is clear that access to clean water, safe sanitation and hygiene are building blocks for healthy schools. With 300 million children in school and enrollment growing everyday, Global Water Challenge believes that it is imperative that governments work to scale up the most effective and sustainable solutions,” said Dr. Tanvi Nagpal, director of water and sanitation programs at Global Water Challenge.
This Universal Children’s Day, GWC is urging people around the world to become part of the solution. On April 18, 2010, GWC will join Live Earth and Dow to host the Dow Live Earth Run for Water, a historic movement to help put an end to the global water crisis. The event will consist of a series of 6 km run/walks (the average distance many women and children walk every day to secure water) taking place over the course of 24 hours in countries around the world, featuring concerts and water education activities aimed at igniting a tipping point to help solve the water crisis. Ten percent of registration fees from run/walk events taking place in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City and Washington D.C. will be donated to GWC to support water projects, including those that bring clean, safe drinking water and sanitation education to school children worldwide. For more information on registering for a run or donating funds, please visit http://liveearth.org/run.
“This event will encourage the global community to take action on one of the most serious environmental issues today, the global water crisis,” said Kevin Wall, founder and CEO of Live Earth. “It will raise the profile of this issue, educate the world’s citizens about its challenges and bring resources and solutions to the nearly one billion people around the world who lack access to clean, safe drinking water.”
The Dow Live Earth Run for Water will take place in hundreds of countries around the world, participants of the Dow Live Earth Run for Water are encouraged to RUN in a run/walk in their community or organize their own run/walk through the Friends of Live Earth program, SAVE water in their home and local community through conservation efforts, GIVE money to support clean, safe water projects and SPEAK UP by signing the Live Earth petition to express your support that eeveryone should have access to clean water, adequate for the health and well-being of the individual and the family.
“Dow is committed to being a leader in addressing the global water crisis,” said Ian Barbour, general manager at Dow Water & Process Solutions, a business unit of Dow. “As a company, we are developing innovative water treatment technologies, reducing water use at our manufacturing facilities and initiating creative partnerships like the Dow Live Earth Run for Water to ensure children and adults worldwide have access to this basic human necessity.”
For more information on the GWC White Paper, please visit http://action.globalwaterchallenge.org/childrensday.
For more information on the Dow Live Earth Run for Water, please visit http://liveearth.org.
About Global Water Challenge
GWC is a diverse coalition that consists of leading organizations working to provide creative and sustainable solutions for universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation. GWC’s mission is to generate a global movement to meet the urgent need for safe water and sanitation by spurring collective awareness and investment in water supply/sanitation innovation by corporate, public, and nongovernmental actors. Our challenge is to reach people with the tools and education they need to empower themselves. Access to clean water and sanitation leads to healthier, longer and more productive lives, and breaks the cycle of poverty. Water and sanitation are not just human rights, they are human necessities. More information about Global Water Challenge can be found at http://www.globalwaterchallenge.org.
About Live Earth
Founded by Emmy-winning producer Kevin Wall, in partnership with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Live Earth was built upon the belief that entertainment has the power to transcend social and cultural barriers to move the world community to action. A for-profit company, Live Earth seeks to leverage the power of entertainment through integrated events, media and the live experience to ignite a global movement aimed at solving the most critical environmental issues of our time. More information about Live Earth can be found at http://liveearth.org.
About The Dow Chemical Company
With sales of $58 billion in 2008 and 46,000 employees worldwide, Dow is a diversified chemical company that combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element” to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company delivers a broad range of products and services to customers in around 160 countries, connecting chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. On April 1, 2009, Dow acquired Rohm and Haas Company, a global specialty materials company with sales of $10 billion in 2008 and 15,000 employees worldwide. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.