A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Where I live, we take water for granted. It falls out of the sky at more than regular intervals and I don’t have a clue what I’d do if I turned on the tap or flushed the toilet and nothing happened. In most places around the world, people buy bottles of water without even thinking about where it came from. As World Water Day is next week, I’ve been thinking about the fact that this makes us extremely lucky.
Around the world, for most people, water isn’t something to be taken for granted. People in the drier equatorial parts of the world travel for miles to get clean drinking water and when disasters strike – like in Haiti recently – ensuring that people have access to water is always a priority.
It’s estimated that people need 15 litres of water a day as an absolute minimum to drink, cook and generally keep things clean and sanitary. It sounds like quite a bit until you think that when you flush your standard toilet it uses nine litres.
So this World Water Day I’ve joined the World’s Longest Toilet Queue to send a message to leaders of rich and poor countries, that it’s time to do something about the fact that 4,000 children die needlessly every day.
We need to see rich governments give targeted aid to improve sanitary conditions for the world’s poorest people and we need governments in developing countries to invest and make strong plans to get safe, clean water to their citizens.