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The bipartisan legislation would make water and sanitation important pillars of America’s foreign policy in developing countries, with the target of providing 100 million people with first-time access to safe and sustainable drinking water and sanitation by 2015.
But with only five cosponsors, the bill isn’t receiving the attention needed for further congressional action. Please click here and sign the petition!
In March, Global Water Challenge visited schools in Africa to see the progress of ongoing clean water projects and visit with students and families. Watch this great video and read the first-hand account below.
Close to a billion people lack access to clean drinking water. 2.5 billion people lack access to safe sanitation. What do these numbers mean? In the developing world, the average person needs to walk 6km (3.73 miles) every day to fetch water that might not even be of good quality. Fetching water is also no easy task: each 5 gallon jerrycan weighs 40 pounds.
When women and girls can’t find a safe toilet, they are forced to go in the open, which exposes them to potential violence and disease. All of this means that hundreds of millions of people have to make a “choice” from among a series of bad options.
But the good news is, we have the solutions to solve this crisis. Global Water Challenge is a coalition made of 24 leading organizations who are working to get universal access to clean water and safe sanitation. We know that no one organization, one group, one idea, one well will solve it—we all need to work together, with your help.
GWC focuses on two areas—innovative financing and schools. We believe that by investing in local social entrepreneurs who can work within their communities to find the best solutions we can achieve sustainable results. Our other programmatic focus is increasing access to clean water and safe sanitation in schools in the developing world. Over half the world’s schools lack access to these basic necessities—imagine sitting through school all day without a place to use the bathroom.
In March, GWC visited some of our schools projects in Africa.
We were excited to see the progress that had been made, and to hear from students and teachers about the impact that GWC and partners were having. One of the schools we visited was Regan Elementary School. We were able to talk to the students who were members of the health club there, and ask them what their thoughts were and what they were doing to make sure they had access to clean water.
What they said really surprised and inspired us. With the support of their teachers and parents, the students had taken it upon themselves to make sure they had the ability to buy enough WaterGuard for the school. They started a vegetable garden where they grow cabbages to sell to the community to raise money to keep their water clean, and their lives healthy.
We also realized that it takes only $16 to provide Regan with enough WaterGuard for the year. You can learn more about Regan and how to help at www.globalwaterchallenge.org. Or help us reach out to Congress, and ask them to support the Water for the World Act, which asks for funding for these types of projects around the world.