World Water Day is Tuesday, March 22, 2016, and I have some really important information to share, and a great way you can help children get the clean water they need.
Over 1,000 children under the age of 5 die each day due to a shortage of clean water.
UNICEF’s Tap Project offers a simple way we can help – by putting down our cell phones. UNICEF is asking that cell phone users put their phones down during the month of March. For every 5 minutes that a phone is untouched, Giorgio Armani Fragrances and S’well will provide the funding equivalent of one day of clean water for a child.
This is UNICEF’s 10th year of the Tap Project, and last year alone UNICEF provided 22.6 million people in emergencies with access to safe water. The Tap Project will take place throughout the month of March, which is also World Water Month.
If you’re interested, you can also make donations to the UNICEF Tap Project on their website. Even the smallest donation can make a huge difference.
Amal, pictured with her five children, on the street they live, in the Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan. The family fled their home in Syria after their house was destroyed during the conflict. Next to them are 15 large plastic containers illustrating the amount of water the family use each day. A water tank has recently been installed that serves the whole street.
Amal- “In a camp, it is dusty and dirty. Before [the tank was installed], when we didn’t clean so much due to not having enough water, we were getting scabies and lice. There used to be scabies all over the camp, so hygiene is really important. When I came here the situation was horrible. The young girls were working, carrying water back to the houses. Because of the chaos outside, the people on the streets, the girls carrying water, I didn’t want my girls to get involved, so I only let them go to school.”
Girls and young women fill containers at a series of taps at a water point in the Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania. Water scarcity is increasing as more refugees flee from conflict in Burundi. UNICEF’s efforts to deliver water to Burundian families and children form a critical part of the response to the emergency and ranges from repairing and replacing pumps to delivering chlorine, trucking in water by road and bringing jerry cans and water purification tablets to refugee families living in shelters.
Girls fill jerrycans at a water point in a collective center in Karkh District, Iraq that provides temporary accommodation and protection to displaced populations. UNICEF has installed water tanks and separate latrines for men and women, and provided kits to test the water quality, as well as soap and other sanitary items.
Gaderiya, Syrian mother of four, in a refugee camp in northern Iraq, pictured with her son Esa. Gaderiya describes conditions when they first arrived at the camp, “Every other hour my children were forced to walk a long way to a central tank and use plastic containers to collect water. Supply was very limited and at times there would be disagreements between families about how much water each person should get. If there is a lack of water, you can’t do anything.” Since a water tank was installed close to the family’s tent, life has become much easier. “Before we had the tank my children could only wash every three days. Now they have more clean water to drink and they can wash every two days. I am also able to wash our clothes and sheets more regularly which helps keep us all healthier.”
Bello, 12, washes his hands at a hand pump outside his school before going to class, in the Dar es Salam camp, Chad. Bello, who is attending school for the first time, is a refugee from Nigeria.
Boys in the Al Jamea’a Camp, Iraq, wash their hands with soap after learning about cholera prevention and treatment. Globally, illnesses caused by unsafe drinking water, lack of sanitation and poor hygiene are among the leading causes of death for children under five, contributing to nearly 1,000 deaths a day.
Mohammed (5), Danya (11) and Mo’men (4) splash each other with water in the Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan. The family fled their Syrian village in September 2012, when it was overtaken by military forces. During the summer months, families use water to combat the brutal heat.