NEW YORK, March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by Doug Pitt (Goodwill Ambassador for Tanzania; Founder, Care to Learn; and Board Member of WorldServe International), and distributed by Greater Than One, Inc.
Why I Champion Hydro-Equality: The Right to Clean Water
If you are reading this, it is likely that you can readily access clean water. With so many other issues on which to focus – healthcare, education, March Madness conference changes, sovereignty in the Ukraine – you might not have this basic necessity on your list of priorities. You might not realize that World Water Day is commemorated each year on March 22nd or that this global day of awareness was created by the United Nations in 1993.
Since the people who most need you to think about the importance of clean water are likely too young, too sick, or too poor to ask for your help, I'm speaking out. Those who are suffering can't raise their voices because they're simply struggling to survive. Water – a fundamental gift and giver of life – is all but absent in their world.
The daily quest for water is a reality in many developing nations, including Tanzania which I proudly serve as Goodwill Ambassador. In the majority of homes in this beautiful country, you won't find a tap, a sink, or a toilet because the pipes to carry water simply do not exist. In many cases, infrastructure cannot be created due to a lack of public money, trained workers, material availability, and other factors. In remote villages – and even some less so – I have seen countless communities fractured by a lack of water. The statistics are daunting:
- 21.6 million people – about half the population – lack access to safe water;
- For every 1000 children born, 158 will die before their fifth birthday; of those who survive, half will have their growth and development stunted by water and nutrition deficits;
- 90% of the population of the entire country lack sanitation, making children and the elderly particularly vulnerable to easily preventable and treatable illnesses.
On average, women and girls will spend about two hours a day collecting water while in the poorest rural communities the pursuit can extend to seven hours a day. With so much time and energy invested in the pursuit of water, there is little time to attend school, to earn money, or seek or grow food.
What Can Be Done?
Providing access to clean water is not a standalone solution but it is a great first step. Accessible, sustainable water sources provide the foundation for education, healthcare, nutrition, and economic development, which, if created alone would be far less less effective. With this realization, I joined the Board of Directors of WorldServe International in 2008. A non-profit organization, WorldServe is one of the largest humanitarian providers in sub-Saharan Africa, having provided nearly two million people with clean water since its founding.
Through my work with WorldServe and my role as Goodwill Ambassador, I've come to believe in working with the local people and as many reputable partners as possible to enable self-sufficient communities. The strong relationships we form with those communities create a virtuous cycle of caring and positive developments that reverberate throughout entire regions. By starting with something as fundamental as water, we can all work together to advance many other aspects for the greater good: education, agricultural development, economic empowerment, and health care.
You Can Join Me – on World Water Day (and Beyond)
Make a Gift to Provide Clean Water: Support WorldServe International by making a secure contribution of any size through http://worldsrv.org. Through the potent medium of sustainable water sources for children and their families, donors to WorldServe enable so many other services. By working with African NGO's and communities to create a full vision of what can be, we ensure that each donation is maximized.
Raise Your Voice: Ask your Congressional leader to support the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act. This bipartisan legislation leverages the efforts of the USAID and the Department of State, thereby enabling the US to give attention to water and sanitation services which would mitigate unnecessary losses of life and conflicts in the future.
Conserve (and Appreciate) this Incredible Resource: To learn how easy it is to conserve water, start with a simple Google search to find helpful sites, such as http://wateruseitwisely.com.
About Doug Pitt
Doug Pitt is a Springfield, Missouri-based businessman whose efforts to ensure healthy lives for children and families span the globe.
Appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Republic of Tanzania by President Jakaya Kikwete in 2010, Doug works with NGO's, businesses and faith based organizations that want to do business or provide humanitarian partnerships in Tanzania. Efforts include clean water, education, agriculture, sanitation and tourism programs.
A board member of WorldServe International, which operates one of the largest water drilling companies in East Africa, Doug has been part of countless campaigns to bring the gift of clean water to more than two million people. In 2011, Doug led a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro and then became the first American on record to descend Mount Kilimanjaro on a mountain bike, raising both money and awareness for global clean water needs.
Stateside, Doug founded Care to Learn, which funds child health, hunger, and hygiene needs. Since its 2010 founding, Care to Learn has expanded to 13 school districts and funded over 240,000 child requests to children in rural and urban communities in Missouri.
For comments or more information, please contact:
Laura Chauvin, Sustainable Philanthropy Partners
SOURCE WorldServe International