Water for Life -- A Focus on World Water Day 2014

March 20, 2014

World Water Day (Saturday, March 22nd) is almost here!  This week, International Action will be remembering the hundreds of millions worldwide who struggle each day to survive without one of the most basic of life necessities - clean water.  Using the momentum of this important day, we ask that you  please support World Water Day and International Action’s vision of universal access to clean, life-saving water. 

With almost 40% of the population - a staggering 4 million people, still lacking access to safe drinking water; dehydration, malnutrition, and waterborne diseases remain all too prevalent.  The lack of clean water affects not only the health but also the productivity and the future well being of all Haitians.  Limited access to clean water forces women and children to travel miles each day carrying buckets of water for their family; it means children, mostly young girls, missing school because of daily water chores and illness; and it results in future generations being unable to escape the cycle of disease and poverty.  

If existing hardships and the slow post-earthquake recovery are not enough, Haiti is still suffering from one of the worst cholera epidemic the world has seen in modern history.  There have been 8,000 deaths and nearly 700,000 reported cases of cholera, with 1,000 more deaths expected in the next year if water treatment does not improved.  Our reports from the field show that cases are increasing in some areas, such as Arcahaie in the West Department where a new outbreak occurred just a few short months ago.

On this upcoming World Water Day, the UN encourages all to think about the inequalities in water access, particularly amongst the “bottom billion”, and the need for universal sustainable access to clean drinking water.  In areas with no electricity and where access to water treatment and sanitation are absent, it is imperative to come up with creative solutions that allow the most people to have access to clean drinking water with the least drain on environmental and economic resources. 

With this in mind, International Action continues to focus on simple, sustainable solutions to bring clean water to some of the most impoverished areas in Haiti. Our chlorinators take advantage of gravity fed water systems and require no electricity to operate and our upcoming Chlorine Distribution System will provide local communities with the knowledge, logistics, and sustainable source of funds to maintain and operate our highly effective chlorinators.  In addition, our recent solar pump initiative uses energy from the sun to bring clean water to rural areas. These amazing new devices created by our partner, Rain Catcher, are inexpensive, require minimal maintenance and are incredibly effective; enabling us reach thousands more Haitians with safe drinking water.  

The demand for clean water is only increasing, and the use of energy efficient means to sanitize water means more potable water for the people who need it most.  Together, we can help the people of Haiti realize their dream for a healthier and brighter future for themselves and the many generations to come.  Water is life!