It’s December and many of us are now preoccupied with festive shopping and making plans for Christmas. But if you’re reading this, then chances are that in addition to dreaming about Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, you’re also one of the lucky few who have access to a natural resource that we all take very much granted – clean and safe drinking water. For those of us who live in the modern world, we can’t image a life without easy access to water, but millions face this harsh reality every day – all year round.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)these are some of the staggering statistics:
- Up to 90% of wastewater in developing countries flows untreated into rivers, lakes and highly productive coastal zones, threatening health, food security and access to safe drinking and bathing water.
- Over 80% of used water worldwide is not collected or treated (Corcoran et al., 2010).
- The provision of improved sanitation and safe drinking water could reduce diarrhoeal diseases by nearly 90% (WHO, 2008a).
- Human health risks are without doubt the major and most widespread concern linked to water quality. Each year ~3.5 million deaths related to inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene occur, predominantly in developing countries (WHO, 2008b).
- Diarrhoeal diseases, often related to contaminated drinking water, are estimated to cause the death of more than 1.5 million children under the age of five per year (Black et al., 2010).
- An important share of the total burden of disease worldwide, ~10%, could be prevented by improvements related to drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, and use of environmental management and health impact assessments.
While many organizations across the world work tirelessly to alleviate some of the suffering, we still have a long way to go. But by working towards a common goal we can make a difference, which is why in 2010 AquAid founded the Africa Trust to help make an impact and create sustainable projects that empower the less fortunate. When you choose AquAid as your preferred water cooler supplier, you not only gain access to an extensive range of high-quality products, but you also help to bring fresh and safe drinking water to thousands of impoverished people every day.
Water crises may exist all year round, but to date – and with your help – AquAid have donated in excess of £14 million and helped bring water to more than 2.5 million people! Eradicating the problem may seem an impossible task, but with each step, we help another person every single day.