What causes more death than war?

Posted: Friday, October 15, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , ,

Water scarcity is an issue you must have read about in your school books but you can't imagine how much it effects the world. On 11th October, I received the weekly newsletter from change.org, a site which raises awareness about important causes and empowers people to take action. I came across change.org when I was searching about Jimmy Anderson's photoshoot for gay magazine Attitude. When I started reading the newsletter, there were some shocking revelations, it said,

more people die each year from contaminated water than all forms of violence and war combined.

The newsletter also notified me about Blog Action Day 2010, held every October 15th. The goal of Blog Action Day is to take a single day out of the year to focus the world's attention on one important issue. 13,000 bloggers took part in it last year. The United Nations voted recently to make access to clean water a human right. But it will take some time and effort for this to be implicated. What we can do, is generate awareness on this issue.

90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old. Many of these diseases are preventable. Clean water alone can reduce water-related deaths by 21%. Sanitation alone can reduce water-related deaths by 37.5%. Handwashing alone can reduce water related deaths by 45%. These numbers are staggering but just talking and shocking will not be enough. This calls for a need for good hygiene. People often ignore washing hands after using the toilet, before and after eating, before touching their eyes or using eye drops. These are the basic hygiene guidelines.

1 in 8 of us lack access to clean water

True, alone we cannot provide water to nearly 1 billion people worldwide who rely on bacteria-infested water. But together by making small contributions, we can change the current scenario. Developed countries use far more water than poor countries. In the United States alone, on just one average day, more than 500 billion liters of freshwater travel through the country’s power plants—more than twice what flows through the Nile.

Why water is important.

According to a report dating back to 1999 and sponsored by the UN Development Program, fighting over limited resources as the scarcity of water, over the next 25 years, will possibly be the leading reason for major conflicts in Africa, not oil.

Relieving hunger in Africa has to begin with access to clean water. It may seem simple, but we forget that without water, food is impossible to grow and difficult to preserve and prepare. It takes huge amounts of water to grow food.

As a blogger, I've taken this opportunity to enlighten people, here is how you can contribute:

Register your blog or website  if you read this on October 15th, register and write about water crisis or Blog Action Day 2010.

Sign the petition: Together with US Fund for UNICEF, change.org is helping to build a movement of people across the world calling on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to accelerate the UN's work to supply clean, safe drinking water to the world's poorest populations. Help grow this movement by adding your name.

Raise funds for water: Raise money to provide clean drinking water to those in need through charity: water, which allows you to create a fundraising page to raise money to build wells in Africa, or Water.org, where a $25 donation provides clean water for a lifetime for one person.

If a 7-year old can build a well, why can't you donate $25?


  1. Anonymous says:

    A bit late i guess... Being an Indian we dont need distilled or RO water. All we need is potable water holds good if we talk about our immunity. But in countries where this is also deprived off should be a real pain.