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World Water Day Special

By Jairaj Singh, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

While many eyes will be on London this week after the tragic killing of a police officer and civillians in Westminster, there is another arguably even more tragic event taking place every single day:

“Every 90 seconds, a child dies because they lack access to clean water and sanitation. Every 90 seconds…somewhere on planet Earth…not here! Our kids aren’t going to die from diarrhea. That’s just an inconvenience to us in the West.

But it is a stark, terrifying reality to billions of people on the planet.”

– Matt Damon, Actor & Water.org founder

The UN designated the 22nd March as World Water Day. This is to promote awareness of the fact that nearly 700 million people don't have access to clean, safe drinking water on our planet.

While this number is staggering, it's also something that most of us don't think about. In the West especially, as Matt Damon shares in our second story below, we have likely never experienced a single day without being able to turn on the tap and have fresh water to drink.

The stark reality is, that a child dies every 90 seconds from drinking toxic water and while there is some amazing work being done by organisations around the world, much more still needs to be done to alleviate the suffering that takes place on our planet.

These are some statements from children recorded in 1995 at the World Summit for Social Development. That was over 20 years ago and we must ask ourselves, has much changed since then and what can each of us do about it when we have so much going on in our lives?

From a sixteen-year-old girl in Germany:

“When I watched a report about hungry people --- for example in Africa --- it came to mind that if people travel to the moon and build a space station, and can produce machines which take over all the people's work, why do they not produce enough food for all the people in the world?... I know that with the World Summit for Social Development not all people will live in peace and prosperity at once. but I hope that some people will be better off after the Summit."

From a 14-year-old boy in India:

"How would I deal with all the problems? ... Efforts should not just be made on a city, state, or
national basis, but collectively, globally, so that leaders who would normally hesitate to do something in their own country alone would have international support and proof to show their people that the process is not just for their good but also for the good of the forthcoming generations."

From an eleven-year-old boy in Australia:

"People need to learn more about each other and learn that we are all the same inside, not aliens from another planet."

One Water Launches Dirty Water Bottle!

By James Mills, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International

For this year's World Water Day, the social enterprise One Water has launched a bottle that makes its contents look dirty. Duncan Goose, the founder of One Water explained in the PR Week article that;

"It seems counter-intuitive to be trying to sell a bottle of water that looks dirty, but we think it’s a useful moment of reflection in our busy days and an opportunity to support a business that pours its profits into clean water for everyone rather than into the bank accounts of corporations.

If only a small proportion of the profits from the sale of every bottle of water went to clean water projects, we could have a huge impact on water issues worldwide. By drinking One Water you’re effectively saying to someone without access to clean water, 'Have a clean drink on me'."

What Mr Goose is highlighting is the importance of having our priorities straight and increasing our awareness of a shocking reality. How can we take clean water for granted and waste it when there are millions who do not have this most basic need met?

The design of their bottle is a reminder of this.

He also reveals the scale of the issue and the urgent need for all of us to come together and collaborate in whatever way we can. We cannot rely solely on businesses like One Water or indeed charities and governments to solve this problem. We have the resources and the technology to ensure everyone on the planet has access to clean water, as stated by Richard Jolly, former chairman of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council;

"Bringing water and sanitation to all would cost $10 billion a year. That is one-tenth of what Europe spends on alcoholic drinks each year, about the same as Europe spends on ice cream and half of what the United States spends each year on pet food. 

It is not a question of cost but of priority."

Matt Damon - "Water In Our Toilet Cleaner Than Drinking Water For 660 Million People"

By Daniel Schmitz, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

Actor Matt Damon, founder of Water.org, appeared on American television today to talk about the lack of clean water and the day-to-day living conditions for millions of people....

While this problem can seem insurmountable, as Richard Jolly says above, it is simply a question of enough individual and collective will.

We have the technology and the money exists, it's having enough people coming together doing a little bit.

WaterAid, Water.org, Charity Water and others do wonderful work, but what if they and other charities, businesses and communities were able to pool their resources to solve this problem? Over the last 12 years, we've been developing initiatives to bring individuals and companies together to solve issues like this because we know that one organisation alone cannot do it.

If you knew you could play a tiny role in being part of the solution to clean water through giving just a little bit of your time and not your money, we'd love to hear from you below...

Would you like to learn more about how by giving one hour of your time you can help a child to receive clean water for a year?

Absolutely! If I can help a child I'm in!Sorry, I'm not interested

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