The Global Water and Sanitation Crisis – What You Can Do To Help

WaterCan1 

Photo Courtesy of WaterCan (Peter Bregg, 2009)

The Global Water and Sanitation Crisis – What You Can Do To Help

Today an estimated 80% of illnesses in developing countries are linked to poor water and poor sanitation conditions. WaterCan, a Canadian charity, is transforming lives by helping the world’s poor gain access to clean safe drinking water. Read on to learn about the crisis and about ways that you can help those in need.

 

The current situation 

An estimated 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation facilities, and an estimated 1 billion people (a sixth of the world’s population) do not have access to safe drinking water. The lack of clean, safe water and adequate sanitation causes water-related diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, trachoma, typhoid, and intestinal parasites. It is estimated that over 2.2 million people die from diarrheal disease each year and about ninety percent of those deaths are children under five years of age!

 

WaterCan2WaterCan3

A helping hand

WaterCan, a Canadian based international charity, is working to help the world’s poor gain access to clean drinking water, basic sanitation facilities and hygiene education. WaterCan encourages youth to learn about water and sanitation issues, tell others about the issues in order to raise awareness and to help out with fundraising.

 

A young WaterCan ambassador

Rhiannon Cobb, an Ottawa youth, is helping out by acting as an ambassador for WaterCan. She visited Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya to learn firsthand about the situation in some of the countries that WaterCan operates in. She made several videos about her experience and posted them on YouTube in order to help raise awareness about the issues and to encourage others to lend a helping hand. Rhiannon also helped advertise the "Water In Focus" youth photo journalism contest and made an appearance on Rogers Daytime Television to promote World Toilet Day.

 Watercan4

 

How you can get involved

If you are interested in getting involved, why not visit the WaterCan website for more information? Helping the world’s poor gain access to clean drinking water, basic sanitation facilities and hygiene education can truly transform lives.

For more information about WaterCan, visit: http://www.watercan.com/ .

To view Rhiannon’s videos on YouTube, visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/WaterCanada .

The statistics used in this article were drawn, with permission, from the WaterCan website.

All photos courtesy of WaterCan (Peter Bregg, 2009).