In poverty-stricken villages across the developing world, access to clean drinking water is a challenge families face, and the consequences of going without can be devastating.
It’s a message that hit home for a small number of Calgarians who said enough is enough, and despite the cold, snowy weather yesterday, walked four kilometres in downtown Plus15 walkways to raise funds and awareness on World Water Day.
Money raised from the event goes towards organizing hygiene programs and sending water filters to villages lacking clean water.
This is a serious problem, as lack of clean water can lead to waterborne illnesses such as dysentery and diarrhea, said Frank King, media co-ordinator for the Christian, non-denominational, non-profit organization Samaritan’s Purse.
“In a lot of these countries the medicare system could be threadbare and a day’s walk away … Oftentimes parents don’t have money at all, and in some places it might cost a month’s pay. When a family gets safe water, children are sick way less and the incidence of diarrhea does down 40 per cent.”
In Edmonton roughly 20 people marched through blowing snow, yelling, “Water is a right, not for oil” as they crossed the North Saskatchewan River to the Alberta legislature to unveil a declaration urging the province to make water consumption a human right.