On our planet about 1.3 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population) lack access to safe drinking water. Others don’t have enough water to bathe or even wash their hands regularly.
Every day, almost 10,000 children under the age of five die as a result of water-related illnesses.
By contrast, an American family uses an average of 80 to 100 gallons of water each day. To put that number in perspective, one load of laundry uses almost 35 gallons of water.
David Kang’ethe, sponsor relations director for ChildFund Kenya, estimates that rural households in his country manage on 25 liters (nearly 7 gallons) of water per day. The average household is seven people.
Many Kenyans do not have a water source in their homes, or even nearby. And when families need water, it is typically carried long distances by the women in the households.
Water carried by women is generally used for cooking, drinking, washing utensils and bathing babies. Children and other family members go to the water source to bathe and to wash clothes.
“You don’t waste water,” says Kang’ethe. “It is so precious that dishwater is saved and used to water the vegetable garden.”
ChildFund recognizes that clean, safe water is essential to the health and development of children, and to every family’s ability to be self-sustaining.
A few of our clean and accessible water initiatives include:
On March 22, in honor of World Water Day, ChildFund wants to see how well you can complete our World Water Day Challenge. How much can you cut down on your water usage? Could your household go as low as 7 gallons for the entire day?
To help you along, here are a few statistics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on American’s water usage for everyday tasks that most of us may take for granted.
- Flushing a toilet: Between 3.5 and 7gallons per flush.
- Taking a shower: 2 to 3 gallons every minute.
- Running a dishwasher: Between 6 and 11 gallons.
- Brushing your teeth: 2 gallons of water per minute.
Try it out and tell us on Facebookor Tweet us how you did. What was the hardest challenge you faced cutting down your water usage? What have you learned by trying the ChildFund World Water Day Challenge?
“When you don’t take water for granted, you become more considerate,” says Kang’ethe. That is good. That is what makes us human.”