We Need to Help Africans Obtain Clean Drinking Water

May 21, 2008
By Sophia Lindsay, Albion, ME

How would you feel knowing that the water you drink, may be your last drink? People in Africa take these risks everyday. Many village women walk 10 miles or more, just to get water that is so vital for their life; but the water is contaminated. It is the only source they have, so they must use it or go without and we all know that is not possible for long. If they were to go without water, they would be open to a wide range of diseases, and within two to three days they would die. American’s use clean water to bathe, drink, cook with, water lawns, and wash cars, and much more. But, many Africans are dying just by drinking this polluted water. They may be from a different culture and country, but they run the same human race. We need to help, or some Africans may not be running the race of life much longer.

In any case, digging wells does take money, but according to www.amref.org “If you gave $1,500 you could provide the building materials, with the labor provided by the community, for a new well, which will serve about 500 people.” Imagine the opportunity for clean water that you can drink without fear. Wouldn’t you help build the well to provide it? All they need is the money for the materials. Organizations such as Drop in the Bucket, an organization building wells, and Global Partners for Development, offer many helping hands to people all over the world in order to provide clean water. Many options to help are available.

People are dying because they drink from their only water source. Africa does not have a lot of water to begin with but to have it contaminated is even worse. Africanwellfund.org states that “more than half of Africa’s villages lack access to a clean water supply.” Lack of sanitation and clean water can lead to many diseases that usually would not be fatal. Due to the fact that hospitals are not very common, the result of these diseases is death. Without hospitals and medical assistance diseases are fatal. Drinking dirty water is usually the cause of childhood diarrhea which has come to be a leading killer of African children. Some of these diseases include; yellow fever, river blindness, scabies, trachoma, bilharzia, and malaria. All of these diseases are caused by drinking their only water source.

America has come so far from the day pilgrims arrived, other parts of the world are living in darkness compared to the knowledge we have in our country. We over look how lucky we are to have purified water. Most of African illnesses are “caused by organisms that thrive in water sources contaminated by raw sewage,” states Disasterlogistics.org. This water is being contaminated by feces and other sewage, yet they must drink it. Other contaminants that infest the water are pollutants such as Cholera, and human bacteria from those washing clothing in the rivers upstream. Water is also polluted by silt and gravel tumbling into water sources due to earthquakes and other natural causes.

Ester Nzomo is a mother of four and a farmer. Three years ago she spent eight hours in search of water. She would carry the 20 liter jug on her head, for twelve kilometers. Her children suffered from diarrhea and typhoid. That was three years ago. Now she spends only minutes at the well, put in place by African Medical & Research Foundation. The children are able to attend school, and the Nzomo family is able to grow maize and cow peas on their farm. So you can see, clean water can have such a tremendous impact on just one family.

There are ways to help. These people deserve clean water; everyone does. Everyone deserves to drink water knowing that it will not be the cause of their death. Water is a necessity for life, every life. The work is provided; all they need is money to buy material. Please, don’t waste your water, and donate some money to some places like; Amref, Drop in the Bucket, Global Partners for Development, Africawellfund.org... it is for a life cause, and a little will go along way. Your money will save lives. Every hour children are dying. Instead of mothers walking eight hours of the day, and children so sick they much stay home from school, help the future picture become a reality. A village thriving on the water of life, the children healthy, in school, wells flowing with adequate water supplies that are reliable and contaminant free; this will be the future if we help. Some day all Africans will able to drink clean water without fear, it will no longer be a risk to drink water.

“True conservation provides for wise use by the general public. The American people do not want our resources preserved for the exclusive use of the wealthy. These land and water resources belong to the people, and people of all income levels should have easy access to them.”

-George D. Aiken

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This article has 2 comments.

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