I never thought about where our water came from; it was just there, and we could use as much as we needed on our farm. We could drink it right out of the faucet; there was enough to share it with the animals, enough to water the garden and the fields and even enough to fill up buckets in the summertime so that we could play.Later on, when I started traveling, I realized more and more how fortunate I had been all my life. I had been rich without knowing it.
“Please, DO NOT use the water to brush your teeth” was just one of the warning signs I read throughout the years. Clean, running water that I took for granted is a rare luxury for so many all over the world.
Sometimes there was just a trickle coming out of the faucet and the color and the smell didn’t make me feel too good. Can I use it without harming myself I wondered?
I washed my hair with bottled water, rinsed my teeth with orange juice, and I had showers with salt water.
Boil the water! – Don’t drink or eat anything street vendors are offering – Always use bottled water.
“Be aware of Montezuma’s revenge,” they said, and I wondered who Montezuma was. Why would he be mean to me? And more importantly, what would happen? One day I bought pancakes from a young boy; they smelled and looked so good, and the boy and his equipment looked clean – I felt safe. The pancakes were great, I enjoyed every bite of it and I felt great, nothing was wrong with me. Montezuma came to visit me that night, I got seriously ill and felt miserable for days. I was fortunate, could see a doctor and could buy the medication that was needed.
It made me wonder about the quality of the water. How could I have gotten so sick so quickly? What does it do to the people who live there?
Did you know that every 21 seconds, one child dies due to an illness related to water? It is very shocking to know that 780 million worldwide do not have access to clean water, which is roughly 2.5 times the population of the United States, 12 times that of the UK, and 34 times that of Australia. In most of the developed and developing economies, clean drinking water is made available to all the citizens. However, it is not the same in under developed countries; where all the women collectively, spend 200 million hours per day on an average collecting water.
Due to the non-availability of clean water, 3.4 million people die every year, when considered population wise, is the death of entire Los Angeles every year! (Source: Global Good Magazine )
Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean…many, too many don’t have access to drinking water and sanitation.
Clean water saves lives! I feel very passionate about it.