Happy International World Water Day!
According to the official World Water Day website,
International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
This year, the theme centers on water quality challenges and opportunities. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has a page dedicated to this theme – you can read more about the challenges that the Red Cross faces on an international scope there. Red Cross and Red Crescent societies are involved in water sanitation programs that have reached more than 10 million people worldwide in the last 15 years.
Recent challenges in providing clean, usable water in the wake of a disaster like Haiti also brings World Water Day closer to our current operations at the American Red Cross. Water for drinking, sanitation, and hygeine is an enormous need after the earthquake. Here are some quick facts:
- 40 million liters of water have been distributed since the earthquake.
- Water and sanitation teams are currently distributing water in more than 120 locations.
- Under extremely challenging conditions, teams are working to erect latrines, organize settlement cleanups and conduct hygiene promotion activities.
- 25 million text messages carrying health and hygiene promotion messages have already been distributed to mobile phones.
- The American Red Cross provided more than 178,000 water containers and 1.1 million purification sachets from its own stocks to help people in Haiti. (Recently, we also provided 5,000 water containers to the Chile earthquake response.)
Do you have any thoughts or concerns about water quality challenges in your local community? You can get involved in World Water Day by simply talking about it and raising awareness.