Monday, February 28, 2011

The Hole in Our Gospel: Day 2

Focus of the day: water

Personal action suggestion:  invest 12 hours in experiencing a day without water
  • I started my day with one cup of hot tea and breakfast, then took my vitamins with a glass of water.  Since then, I've been without water for the past 12 hours.  I expected this to be very difficult, as I drink a lot of water and tea throughout the day.  Some of the time I was busy and hardly took notice of my fast.  At other times, it was on my mind almost constantly.  It is nearing the 12-hour mark, and I absolutely cannot wait to get a glass of water to drink.  (It doesn't help that I exacerbated the issue by having some salty chips at dinner--wow, am I thirsty now!)  As Mark mentioned to me, an exercise such as this certainly brings the issue of clean water availability to the forefront of our minds, but never could we truly know the suffering and deadly effects of a lack of clean water without living it daily.
Statistics from today's lesson:
  • one in every six people worldwide do NOT have access to clean water
  • in the Central African Republic, the life expectancy is 39 years
  • 85% of its population is without clean drinking water
  • unsafe water and sanitation causes 80% of all sickness and disease and kills more people than war
  • women and children walk for hours to find water, missing school and work (the water they find is hardly what we would consider drinkable)
  • clean water is available underground--they simply need the resources and training to build and maintain water wells
  • 1 well = water for 400 people lasting 20 years
  • no other humanitarian intervention has more impact than access to clean water
Our workbook includes this startling fact:
A child dies every 21 seconds from a water-related disease.  This amounts to nearly 6,000 deaths, or the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing every day.
And we've been content to turn our backs on situations such as these??  I have been.

Until now.

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