Imagine the impact on our world if a jumbo jet crashed every four hours, killing all aboard. That’s the rate at which children are dying. One child dies every 21 seconds from a water-related disease.
Imagine the horror if an entire city nearly the size of Los Angeles, 3.4 million people, perished each year. But that’s the number of people worldwide who will lose their lives in the next 12 months because of a lack of access to safe water. And 99% of these deaths occur in the developing world.
Imagine if more than double the population of the United States had no access to safe water for drinking, cooking, and bathing. But you don’t have to imagine because globally, 780 million people still lack access to safe water, after all that has been done to solve the problem. That is equivalent to all the people living in Europe and Scandinavia. This battle against water-borne disease claims more lives than any war with guns.
Some new water resources have been provided over the past few years, saving some lives, thanks to people like you. But where do we go from here, because of the 780 million people still without safe water…and the children dying every day?
Global Crisis Statistics:
One out of every nine people in the world, roughly 780 million, lack access to improved drinking water, and 1.8 billion people drink micro-biologically unsafe water. (WHO/UNICEF, 2012) (Onda, et al., 2012).
2.5 billion people lack adequate sanitation. (UN Water 2013).
Approximately 3.5 million people die each year due to lack of safe water and adequate sanitation and hygiene. (UN Water 2013).
Every 20 seconds, a child dies due to a lack of adequate sanitation. (UN Water 2013).
Safe water access, adequate sanitation, and good hygiene practices could prevent the deaths of 1.5 million children a year. (UN Water 2013).
The impact of diarrheal disease on children is greater than the combined impact of human HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which is why it is the second leading cause of death among children under five. (CDC 2012).
The provision of improved sanitation and drinking water could reduce the number of diarrheal diseases by nearly 90%. (UN 2014).
One dollar invested in water supply and sanitation can provide an economic return of up to 34 times, depending on the region. (UN Report, 2005).
The average distance that women in developing countries walk to collect water per day is four miles, and the average weight that women carry on their heads is approximately 44 pounds. (WSSCC, 2004).
In Africa, 90% of the work of gathering water and wood is done by women. Women and children often spend up to six hours every day collecting water. (UN Water 2013).
Each year 443 million school days are lost due to water-related diseases. (UN 2010).
(The above crisis statistics were compiled by Water Missions International.)
We need the truth to set us free from practices that are not getting the job done of bringing safe water to those in need.
It is time for politics and other priorities to be set aside and not be satisfied until this crisis is over.
UN’s safe drinking water target was never really met
- 12:50 03 April 2014 by Fred Pearce
Put the champagne away. Hundreds of millions of people do not, after all, have access to safe drinking water. The new millennium’s first great “mission accomplished” for public health turns out to have been a figment of the United Nations’s imagination.
In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that a UN Millennium Development Goal – to “halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water” between 1990 and 2015 – had been met. UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon hailed “a great achievement for the people of the world”.
But now the WHO’s official journal has admitted that the claim does not stand up.
The problem is that we don’t have global data on the cleanliness of drinking water, say Joe Brown of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and his colleagues. So the WHO redefined the health goal as an engineering goal: to halve those without access to “improved” water supplies.
In practice, that encouraged governments to meet the targets by delivering the same dirty water in new pipes. People receiving dirty river water one hour a day down a pipe were counted as having water that was as safe as a householder in London or New York.
“It is quite unreasonable to assume that ‘improved’ equals ‘safe’,” says Brown. “The WHO has been silent about this.”
New Scientist reported at the time that some public health professionals did not believe that the UN had met its goal. An earlier study had estimated that 50,000 African boreholes, pumps and wells were lying derelict.
Since 2012, evidence has accumulated that many piped water supplies installed to meet the target are unsafe. For instance, Mark Sobsey of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill reported last year that, in the Dominican Republic, “47 per cent of improved drinking water sources were of high to very-high risk water quality, and therefore unsafe for drinking” (The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.13-0380).
Still off target
As many as 1.8 billion people, a quarter of the world’s population, may lack access to safe water, more than double the 783 million estimated by the WHO. Sobsey has estimated that the world is still 700 million off meeting the UN goal.
“We are well aware of the issues raised in the new paper,” says Bruce Gordon, the WHO’s head of water and sanitation for health. “The Millennium Development Goal targets as measured by improved sources have been met, but many more [people] are likely to lack access to reliable safe water.”
The WHO hopes to do better monitoring in future, using new low-cost kits for rapid assessment of water quality.
Journal reference: Bulletin of the World Health Organization, DOI: 10.2471/BLT.13.119594
What is to be done now that we realize the truth about how awful the story is behind the UN trying to put a happy “mission accomplished” face on a global disaster that is getting worse…what is to be done? First of all, it is past time for the world population of our human species get over our fixation on survival through domination, and replace that bad behavior with acts of compassion.
Specifically on the water issues, there needs to be a global focus on creating meaningful partnerships between corporations, governments, and NGOs, focused on new ways to empower the poorest people to own the process of maintaining safe water resources.
Gifting water wells is not effective in the long run, unless people are empowered through education as to the value of safe water.
Mapping the location of safe water sources, so people can be assured of the most valuable resource, is essential to an honest approach to saving lives. At the same time, we must also map the areas of unsafe water where resources need to be focused to save the lives of children. This is a project that could be accomplished within this decade if all available resources and technology were focused away from our killing machines and toward safe water as a global priority. This is the work we are prototyping at our associated site: SafeWaterStation.org
Please feel free to contact the Bill Kliewer Group LLC, and get involved in creating a new way to solve this global crisis.
Thank you very much.
After decades of work in the field assisting those in need, Bill now continues his vision and passion by providing guidance to individuals and organizations with a mission to relieve suffering. Let us know how we may assist you.
On November 20, 2013, Bill delivered a presentation at
World Vision International on Breakthroughs:
Your Godly Vision…
Sustained through “Tenacious Tweaks and Bold Breakthroughs”
…So how many of you have come to World Vision in the last two years? Well my last chapel speech was 2 years ago next month…I think!
…and today I have chosen my favorite subject…
“What I’ve learned in 50 years of working with charities…and 40 of those years here at World Vision”
In a moment I’ll tell you why that subject is so important.
Since I began my World Vision career in 1966…one thing hasn’t changed…this is the best outreach to the poor in all the world…for those who are receiving our help and those millions of donors who love what they are doing. You all here in Monrovia are doing an incredible job at enabling people to change the world in the name of Christ.
Why is this my Focus? Because…(Click HERE for the full text.)
One mission of the Bill Kliewer Group LLC is to develop and deliver appropriate assistance to nonprofits and worthy causes to reach – even exceed – their goals.
The video below is Bill’s Keynote to the 2013 Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Conference, delivered on July 17 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. This presentation, packed with guidance and assistance, is rich with history and meaningful stories to assist you with your mission:
The following two video clips from Operation Smile and World Vision, were mentioned by Bill in his presentation as examples of successful marketing breakthroughs:
For Operation Smile, the power of storytelling works:
For World Vision, retention is all about giving joy to people: