The statistics are mind-numbing.
- 502,000people die each year from diarrhea—caused by unsafe drinking water.
- 2.1 billionpeople have no access to safely managed drinking water.
- 159 millionpeople get their drinking water directly from surface water sources.
- 263 millionmust travel more than 30 minutes daily to collect their water.
Safe drinking water is something most of us take for granted. But for millions of people, the only water they have is contaminated. And millions more are at risk of having no water at all. According to the United Nations,1.9 billion people(27 percent of the world’s population) live in “potentially severely water-scarce” areas.
For those of us who enjoy ready access to clean water, these numbers are difficult to grasp. But for the individuals they represent, life is simple: They wake up each morning knowing they must fight to survive. The day might begin with a long journey to a watering hole. Everything else depends on that crucial task. For others, the day begins and ends in wretched poverty—because chronic illness prevents them from working. And for some, a normal day means watching their children die slowly from waterborne disease.
This is the heartbreaking reality for people around the globe. The widespread lack of clean water is a crisis we can’t ignore. But to address it, we must understand it.
Why Water Is So Crucial
Water comprises about 60 percent of every human body. It’s essential to the functioning of our cells. And when we don’t take in enough water, things go wrong very fast. We can survive for weeks without food, but without water, we last only a few days.
Read more news on the Global Water Crisis on Gospel for Asia: Digital Media Room.