As I lazily wandered beneath a canopy of pine and cork trees, my attention was drawn to a set of animal prints on a nearby trail. I followed them down the narrow path which led to an old forgotten road. The paw prints were abruptly interrupted by a puddle of water that remained from a recent rainfall. I sidestepped to avoid it and its muddy rim and was reminded of my mission and the millions of women and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa.
I knelt beside it for several moments and watched an insect dance across the puddles surface and skirt the water’s edge.
The sad reality is that millions upon millions of women and children in Sub-Saharan Africa will walk several miles to a waterhole similar to the one I stumbled upon to fetch water.
And for all their effort, they are not rewarded with clean water, instead, the filthy contaminated water they gather for their family to drink, cook and perform household duties can transmit diseases such as: diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, polio, and dysentery.
In Africa, more than 315,000 children die every year from diseases caused by unsafe water.
In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized water and sanitation as a human right. And yet, 780 million people STILL lack access to safe drinking water.
Glass of dysentery, anyone?