When you look at the facts, what women stand to gain from access to safe drinking water is priceless - to themselves, their families and the world economy at large. Did you know that worldwide, it is estimated that on a single day women can spend over 200 billion collective hours fetching water? And yes, you guessed it, if they are lugging water, they certainly aren't tending to their families and they aren't in school or running businesses.
But the fact that isn't as often profiled is that women aren't just the benefactors of clean water and sanitation, they are leaders that enable it rise to community discussion and action.
I'll take a moment here to talk about Community Water Center, a Blue Planet Network member, that is a prime example of the courageous work being done by women for woman.
Community Water Center (CWC) operating in San Joaquin Valley, California is bringing the public's attention to just how much work needs to be done in small towns, like Seville, CA, where the tap water system is laden with pesticides, nitrates from animal waste, and chemical fertilizers due to the heavy agricultural climate. The tap water is undrinkable and families resort to buying expensive bottle water - double the cost of tap water! Imagine needing bottled water to bathe, to wash clothes, to brush teeth? One might be tempted to drink from the tap once in a while to save a quick buck or some time otherwise spent lugging water jugs, however the negative health effects, such as thyroid disease, are just too risky.
Founded and directed by women, Community Water Center works to help families, such as Bertha Diaz's family of three women, featured here.
Bertha Diaz, 43, discusses her frustrations with Abigail Solis of CWC regarding the water contamination in her home in East Orosi, CA, while her daughters Maribel Sanchez, 24, and Jessica Sanchez, 19, look on. The need for clean water is an emergency to Bertha, who has a spinal cord injury. She works long hours picking oranges in fields nearby, carrying buckets full of the fruit, which hurts her back. In addition, every 3 days she has to buy jugs of Sparkletts water and carry them, which adds to the pain. Her feelings on the need for clean water were clear when she stated (via translator), “When I go to any important meeting and speak to people of power and they ignore me because they feel my situation isn’t an emergency, to me it’s like a person being ignored when they go to the emergency room because the hospital doesn’t think it’s that bad and the person ends up dying because they were ignored.” Photos taken by Sara Cozolino on November 1, 2012
The bottom line here: with your donation you have enabled powerful Blue Planet Network members, just like Community Water Center, to do more than they could ever dream of doing alone.
And the pleasant dream of my neighbors drinking tap water without fear, just like I am privledged to do, is one dream I personally would like to make reality.
Thank you so much.
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