It’s World Water Week this week, so what does this mean for us?
On average, every person in the UK uses 150 litres of water every day. In Uganda
it’s more like 15 litres a day, hardly a surprise when the journey to get it can take hours and be fraught with danger. This lack of access to water obviously has a significant impact on health but it also prevents young women from going to school when they have to spend so long collecting it.
It’s for this reason that CAFOD funds water projects in 15 countries across Africa and Asia. With your help, we are able to bring drinking water to 400,000 people, provide toilets for 166,000 people and train 174,000 people on good hygiene like handwashing.more like 15 litres a day, hardly a surprise when the journey to get it can take hours and be fraught with danger. This lack of access to water obviously has a significant impact on health but it also prevents young women from going to school when they have to spend so long collecting it.
World Water Week provides an annual opportunity for all of us to focus on the challenges that face the world today in providing everyone with safe access to clean water. Of course, unless we happen to be a scientist or a government minister, it might seem like there is little we can do but there are, at least, two easy things that would help:
I remember visiting a refugee camp in the West Bank many years ago and being generously invited by a family to share their meal. Aware that we’d been outside all day, and anxious to make us feel as comfortable as possible, our host invited us to wash our hands; but their water supply was extremely limited and so, whilst back home I might have washed my hands under a gushing tap, we had to manage with what was little more than a trickle. I’ve never forgotten this and, ever since then, I have done my best to save water. I’m far from perfect but I hope, that just by trying, I am, in some small way, showing solidarity with my hosts that day, as well as others all around the world.So how will us saving water in England and Wales help people in Uganda and elsewhere? It’s not an easy question to answer but one of CAFOD’s values is that of solidarity. We don’t just aim to give people money, we try to walk alongside the poor, making their cause our cause, uniting in action and prayer. Somehow it seems wrong to waste our water resources, no matter how plentiful they are, when our sisters and brothers have to go without.