By: Virginia Fuss and Isabelle Mokotoff
Last weekend, the students and staff of North Spring’s UNICEF chapter attended their second annual Water Walk. Planned by the kids in the UNICEF club, it was remarkably well executed. This event raised copious funds and brought so much attention to the struggles that come with not having clean water readily available. Participants walked two miles with bricks in their buckets to symbolize the ever-growing water crisis which affects billions of people on a daily basis.
Although this problem may seem foreign to many American students, the water crisis can be found close to home. As near as Flint, Michigan, people must work hard just to acquire the common commodity of water. In fact, about 844 million people lack access to clean water worldwide. In terms of the problem on an international scope, women and children fall victim to most of the labor involved in obtaining water. Often, they are tasked with finding and extracting water while the men work or receive an education. The sources of water in impoverished countries are often unclean. Subsequently, large quantities of people suffer from the adverse effects of drinking contaminated water, generally enduring malaria and the weakening of the immune system. In addition, the water-gathering process impedes on a woman’s access to an education and therefore her furtherment in society.
Thankfully, the crisis is moving toward a solution. According to World Vision, a charity that does astounding work for children and families in poverty, “about 1.4 billion [people] gained basic access to sanitation since 2000. The U.N. member states sign on to…promise clean water and sanitation for all by 2030.” Just from this statistic, it is clear that humanity is moving in the correct direction in the fight for clean water for all.
Along with World Vision and other international organizations, UNICEF is truly making a difference with every step they take—Water Walk included.