World Water Day: Stand Up For Those Who Can't Sit Down

It may or may not be World Water Day today; their website says it is on Saturday, March 22; it also says that "UN Water announced that the World Water Day 2008 will be celebrated by the UN on Thursday, 20 March, in Geneva." So why not, we will party too and keep it up for three days. The theme this year is sanitation; In New York you can make a statement by joining the world's longest toilet line. You can also join the Tap Project.

The UN Secretary General says:

"Every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of the abysmal sanitation conditions endured by some 2.6 billion people globally. That adds up to an unconscionable 1.5 million young lives cut short by a cause we know well how to prevent.

Poor sanitation combines with a lack of safe drinking water and inadequate hygiene to contribute to the terrible global death toll. Those who survive face diminished chances of living a healthy and productive existence. Children, especially girls, are forced to stay out of school, while hygiene-related diseases keep adults from engaging in productive work.

Leaders who adopted the Millennium Development Goals in 2000 envisioned halving the proportion of people living without access to basic sanitation by the year 2015 -- but we are nowhere near on pace to achieve that Goal. Experts predict that, by 2015, 2.1 billion people will still lack basic sanitation. At the present rate, sub-Saharan Africa will not reach the target until 2076.

While there have been advances, progress is hampered by population growth, widespread poverty, insufficient investments to address the problem and the biggest culprit: a lack of political will."

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