Coming out of (I hope) one of the wettest winters in Lake Oswego I can recall, it’s easy to see how Lake Oswegans might take water for granted. But WaterAfrica is doing its best to make sure we don’t.
Founded in 2006 by Lake Oswego resident Bill Savage, WaterAfrica’s mission is to raise awareness and funds to provide water, sanitation and hygiene resources to rural Zambians. Towards that effort, the organization is hosting is ninth Walk4Water Saturday, April 23, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at Foothills Park. Last year more than 300 walkers simulated the experience of villagers in Zambia, by carrying their buckets to a water source, filling them with water and returning to their starting point. They managed to help raise over $70,000.
Here are some of the statistics that compelled those volunteers to participate in this life-changing event.
●1 in 10 people in the world lack access to safe water. In Zambia, conditions are worse, with almost 2 out of every 3 people lacking this resource.
●1 in 3 people lack access to toilets; nearly half of all Zambians have no toilet to use.
●Women and children spend 125 million hours per day collecting water, preventing them from doing other things like going to school or holding a job.
●Every 90 seconds a child dies from water-related diseases.
Efforts such as those by WaterAfrica are making a difference. The World Health Organization reports that 2.6 billion people have gained access to safe water since 1990. And fewer than 1,000 children under the age of 5 die each day from diarrhea caused by inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene, compared to over 2,000 15 years ago.
Progress is a relative term when there is still so much more to be done. If these statistics speak to you, register now for Walk4Water9.
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