Step into a girl’s day as she collects water for her family
If you are a girl living in a community that doesn’t have easy access to clean, safe water, going to school can be complicated. The task of fetching that water is a burden that often falls to women and young girls. For World Water Day, we want you to think about how access to clean water can change a girl’s life forever.
Imagine you are a girl in this situation, and this is your day.
You might have brothers or your father in the house, but you wake up much earlier than they do. They usually don’t help you with the chore of fetching water. Because you’re a girl, it’s considered your role.
You might have a long way to walk to the nearest clean water source. This could be a well, or it could be a river or dam that has dangers of its own. Some children risk crocodiles for their water.
Your container could hold around 40lbs. That’s like carrying 18 bags of sugar, 43 cans of beans, or even a microwave. You have to carry this home.
In Asia and Africa, women and girls walk an average of 6km each day for their water.
Now you help the rest of your family prepare for the day, including getting yourself ready for school.
At school, you might be feeling distracted or unwell if you haven’t had enough to drink. If the water you drank was not clean, you could catch a life-threatening illness.
When you get home, your brothers or male classmates might spend some time playing or completing their homework, but you might have to make that long journey again to collect more water for the evening. If your time for homework has not already been spent, your energy certainly has.
Around the world, 663 million people do not have local access to clean water. Every day, people – mostly women and girls – spend around 125 million hours walking long distances to collect the clean, safe water that they need. It usually comes at the cost of their education.
Just imagine what could be achieved if those women and girls were given the chance to spend that time in school instead?
Giving children access to clean water
We work to improve access to clean water for rural communities. Between July 2016 and June 2017, over 3 million girls and women around the world benefited from our clean water and sanitation work. This includes ensuring children have access to toilets, safe drinking water and handwashing facilities in schools, and setting up clubs and activities that teach the importance of safe sanitation and hygiene.
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