Contributing Monkie G Monkie
Published on August 14, 2009
It’s the source of life but it’s also the cause of a lot of unnecessary death. In places where clean water isn’t available, water-related diseases like cholera cause massive diarrhea, dehydration, and thousands of deaths each day. Affordable water-treatment solutions exist. We’d like to see them flourish.
Women in poor communities across Asia, Africa, and South America typically walk an average of 3 miles a day to fetch water for their households, often from contaminated sources such as rivers, unprotected springs, and shallow wells, say Sauer and Tamburro, both from the Washington, DC-based group Water Advocates. The time this takes could be spent instead on income-generating activities, education, and caring for the family. Moreover, the quality of water that women in developing nations must bring home puts people at risk of deadly diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and amoebic dysentery, diarrheal diseases that kill more children under five than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. “Only with safe and accessible water will women and their families have a chance to live and to lead productive lives,” write Sauer and Tamburro.