It is a basic human right to have access to clean water but approximately one billion people lack access to clean water and basic sanitation. Imagine one of those billion people was your child or a member of your family!
Water for Development is the theme 2015 World Water Week, an annual event held for global water leaders in Stockholm. This year the theme is Water for Development. It is important to me in part due to my childhood in South Africa and in part because of my role as a mother.
As A Child I Remember Sometimes We Didn’t Take A Shower
Growing up in South Africa made me self-conscious of water wastage and the fact that water is a precious commodity that not all people can afford.
In my childhood, water restrictions were not uncommon and would be imposed during years of water shortages. This meant we couldn’t take showers, water the garden, fill the swimming pool or wash the car. All of these everyday activities waste water and are deemed unnecessary during a drought.
A ban on showers didn’t mean we went to bed dirty, it meant we would bath instead. And that bath water then went a long way to further save water. It was then used to flush the toilet by quickly pouring a bucket of path water into the toilet bowl which would flush the contents away. Any leftover bath water could be used to water necessary plants such as herbs, vegetables and the odd coveted rose bush.
Even in years without a drought, gardens are watered in early morning and in the evenings so that the water wasn’t lapped up by the hot African sun and therefore wasted.
This is a picture of water usage in the South African suburbs. But what about the rest of the people living in my beautiful homeland that live below the bread line. Or the rest of the world for that matter. Most do not have readily accessible access to water, let alone clean water.
But What Can I Do To Help?
Mums, you can start at home and lead by example. It really isn’t that hard and future generations will thank us for it.
Show your kids how to reduce their own environmental impact.
- EDUCATE YOUR KIDS about the sources of water, how important water is for all living things on our planet and why it is important not to waste water. Find some wonderful resources for kids here.
- USE REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLES like these BPA-free, glass bottles from Lifefactory. They have kids sippy cups and baby bottles too!
- BE CONSCIOUS OF CARBON OFFSETTING by reducing the amount of store-bought bottle water you drink. Invest in a Brita water jug and drink filtered water straight from your own tap.
- Don’t waste water by leaving taps running when washing dishes, watering the garden or filling the bath. USE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED.
What Is World Water Week?
Is a platform to discuss global water issues. It is held annually in Stockholm, organised by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and attended by over 270 organisations including H&M, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Nestle and Oxford University.
Key contributors include:
- United Nations Development Programme which is committed to sustainable development across 170 countries and territories,
- The Rockefeller Foundation who promote the well-being of humanity around the world, and
- WaterAid who make it their mission to improve access safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
The 2015 Theme Is “Water For Development”
“About one billion people will still lack access to safe water and even more lack access to basic sanitation. About one billion people will still be without electricity and will go to bed hungry – largely the same underprivileged poor.
The challenge remains for the world community in 2015, to formulate, commit to and to urgently pursue a new set of Sustainable Development Goals.
Water is central to these challenges. Our lives and livelihoods, and that of all other living creatures, depend on water. Without it we cannot sustain a productive economy, live healthy lives or produce food, energy and other basic necessities and commodities.” – SIWI
I’ll end with this…
You may think that your impact is insignificant in the great scheme of things but it is not at all. Every individual’s “insignificant” impact makes one whopping SIGNIFICANT impact. So let’s make that a positive impact together!