I was still in elementary school when “recycling” became a buzzword. Conserve water. Recycle to keep the water clean. Clean up the beaches and parks. “The power is YOURS!”
Sounded like a lot of work for what seemed like…well…nothing.
(Of course, that was the selfish American in me…)
The power of having to walk in another person’s shoes can change someone’s perspectives forever.
I live in Quincy, MA. About a few months ago, a major pipe bringing water to Boston sprung a leak and started dumping about eight million gallons of water per hour into the Charles River. Pretty much instantly, the governor declared a state of emergency and issued a “boil-water” order for Boston and dozens of other communities. Mine was one of them.
Just like that, I was in the shoes of people all over the world who wake up to this situation every day. No clean water, no answers, and no relief. Instant panic? Oh yes.
For three days, my household, along with 2 million people in 700,000 households across Massachusetts, lived without clean water. To wash dishes, we had to boil water and use bleach. Because of the mass hysteria, bottled water was scarce. Cooking was limited, and carry-out wasn’t an option because a lot of restaurants were closed. Daily tasks like brushing my teeth and bathing became time-consuming and emotionally taxing as my frustration and hopelessness began to kick in. Was this ever going to end? Did the higher-ups even care and were they ever going to fix this?
A few days later, it did end. There was relief, and everything went back to normal. The hysteria died down, the restaurants (and Starbucks, thank God!) re-opened and life resumed its normal level of comfort.
Sadly, though, for people all over the world, there is no relief. There’s no one to wave the magic wand of progress and sanitation over their situations and make clean water appear. Organizations like UNICEF, Global Water and charity: water are working to help bring clean water and purification systems to developing countries and areas, but they need your help.
I feel like this is an unfinished post, but I guess that that’s because this is an unfinished story. Until every person can wake up, get some clean water, wash up, make breakfast and go about their day, this book can’t be closed. Clean water is like clean air: it’s a free and required part of every human beings right. There is no reason why anyone should be denied it. Communities all over the world need our help. It’s time for us to step outside of ourselves and help!
What can you do? Well, here’s a start: You can donate money to UNICEF online here. It costs less than a penny to give one water purification tablet to a family in need of clean water. Imagine what your donations can do!