Clean water is essential to living a healthy life and working toward a promising future. On World Water Day, we’re recognizing the importance of access to clean water alongside nutritious meals. While our daily focus is on meeting UN Sustainable Development Goal #2 of Zero Hunger by 2030, today, we’re also focusing on SDG #6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Unfortunately, clean water is not a guarantee in many of the communities we serve around the globe. According to the UN, more than 2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress. As populations and the demand for water grow, and as the effects of climate change intensify, this number is likely to increase. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that more than 40% of the global population is projected to be living in areas of severe water stress by 2050.
When communities do not have to spend valuable time seeking access to clean water and consistent food, hours are freed up to focus on education and earning incomes. WHO shares that women and girls are responsible for water collection in 8 out of 10 households with water off premises, so reducing the population with limited drinking water services will have a strong gender impact. A UNICEF study in Tanzania showed that reducing water collection time from 30 to 15 minutes increased girls’ school attendance by 12%.
Rise Against Hunger is working to address issues around clean water access including by supporting WaSH programs in communities we serve — WaSH stands for “Water Sanitation and Hygiene.” According to the UN, 50% of child malnutrition is associated with unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. Good hygiene is critical to illness and disease prevention, keeping children healthy enough to attend school and ensuring adults are physically able to work. We have also distributed water filters alongside our meals, especially in crisis response situations.
On this World Water Day, please join us in creating holistic solutions to hunger and poverty around the globe!