"Sal, we gotta go and never stop going 'till we get there". "Where we going man?" "I don't know but we gotta go" - Jack Kerouac, On the Road -

Monday, June 3, 2013

Why water?

A world where every 21 seconds a child dies due to preventable water-related diseases sucks big time. When water becomes an economic commodity, when water gets contaminated by drilling activities, when deforestation, climate change and poor management of water resources deny populations their most basic resource people die; the marginalized, the uneducated, the downtrodden, the poor. They always die first.

These are some of the facts:

2.5 billion people lack adequate sanitation. Nearly 800 million people live without clean drinking water, mainly in Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Many people walk up to 3 hours to collect water that’s been exposed to all kinds of junk. Some women in Sub-Sahara Africa spend more time collecting water than on any other activity during the day. 443 million school days are missed each year due to water-related illnesses. (WHO, 2012). An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country slum uses for an entire day (UNDP, 2006). 4100 kids will die today from water-related diseases.

The goal of 5000Miles for Water is to raise -at least- US$ 5000 to help bring fresh, safe water to those who desperately need it. Help me do it.

100% of public donations made through charity: water goes directly to the projects on the ground, because all costs of organizational operations are covered by private donors and other means, such as sale of merchandise. Completed projects are photographed and mapped on Google Earth so the evidence of progress is visible and tangible to the donors.

The projects are balanced by community ownership: community members contribute labor when possible and a small percentage of necessary materials such as sand or gravel. A gender-equal water management board of six to eight community members is formed to ensure that the well is always maintained for proper operation.

I am very excited about the challenge and the opportunity to help people without access to clean water.

I leave Washington DC on August 8.


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