With the Australian summer now in full flow and unrelenting hot weather forecasted for the next few weeks, a drink of cold clean water sounds like heaven. However cut to a scene when an Australian is faced with a similar sultry situation in a developing country and nine out of ten wouldn’t even think about going for the nearest tap.
A new research, conducted as a part of CARE Australia’s Water Appeal has found out that 94% of Australians travelling in an under-developed nation such as Cambodia, Kenya and Indonesia wouldn’t dare to reach for the nearest tap for a drink. Three in five Australians when asked admitted to being struck down by diarrhoea or some sort of stomach virus while travelling to some overseas country.
Jenny Clement, CARE Australia’s country program manager admitted that it is a rare occurrence for an Australian to be sick by consuming drinking water, which she clarified only occurred when he is travelling overseas. However, for 884 million people across the globe the risk is as real as it can get. They routinely fall sick of such life threatening diseases as typhoid, e.coli, and cholera by simply quenching their thirst from taps.
“One in eight people worldwide do not have access to a clean, reliable water source. They are relying on drinking water that can cause a range of diarrhea-related illnesses, which kill more people worldwide than malaria, measles and HIV/AIDS combined,’ said Ms Clement. ‘Yet these deaths are easily preventable by building simple, lifesaving water management systems.”
As the summer sun keeps getting hotter Australians can look for respite by reaching for the nearest tap. However that simple advice wouldn’t be as good for people in some of the poorest of nations.
“For most of us, if we are thirsty, we just reach for the nearest tap or water bottle. Yet across Asia and Africa, women walk an average of six kilometers a day to get water, a journey that can be exhausting, dangerous and means that they don’t have the time or energy for school, or earning a wage.”
CARE Australia aims to raise some $900,000 by the end of the year via its Water Appeal, said Ms Clement. The launch of the program has been done in the middle of the Australian summer just to emphasize how important the matter is to have access to clean and safe drinking water in developing nations.
“Clean water saves lives; it’s as simple as that,’ she said. ‘In Ethiopia, water and sanitation-related diseases are among the biggest killers of children under five. Yet these deaths can be prevented through simple, cost-effective solutions such as wells and water pumps.”
She also mentioned that via CARE Australia’s water-related projects millions of people have been benefitted with access to safe and clean drinking water in Asia-Pacific. She urged Australians to get behind this noble cause and contribute to it so that somewhere in a small community in Africa or Asia a difference can be made in the lives of hundreds of men, women and children.
“Last year, CARE helped more than 1.5 million people access safe drinking water, develop sustainable water management practices and improve hygiene and sanitation in countries including Cambodia, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Zimbabwe. But to continue this work, we need more support.”
$60 will provide clean water for a family, $70 can provide hygiene training for a family and $400 will help drill a new fresh water borehole, which will provide clean water to an entire community.