A friend and I were chatting recently, and he said, “You care about clean water. I get it.” And rather than take this as the insult he probably intended, I was kinda proud at that moment. It meant that I had, in a tiny way, raised awareness about clean water and its importance in the world.
“Clean water and its importance in the world” sounds strange to write, but until about the last decade, “clean water” was hardly a cause. It wasn’t a sexy topic or much of a topic at all until charity: water (founded by Scott Harrison) and water.org (co-founded by Matt Damon) came along to shine a light on it.
This light showed 663 million people around the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water. “They have to walk for miles to collect water that’s not even clean before they can make a loaf of bread to feed their family,” said Viktoria Harrison, Vice President of Creative at charity: water. “They worry constantly that their next drink will be contaminated with parasites or disease.”
In fact, diseases from dirty water kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. And nearly half of those deaths are children under five years old.
Here are three ways you can help make a difference for the millions of people facing this challenge:
Written by // Lindsay Byers-Hirth
Photos // Courtesy of charity: water and The Created Co.