March is here! This means that World Water Week (March 19-25) is quickly approaching!
About 800 million people (1 in 8) do not have access to safe drinking water. The consumption of contaminated water is a health risk and attributes to the death of 4,000 children each day. With the enactment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, organizations are working to reduce the number of people without access to safe water and basic sanitation recorded from 1990 by 50% by the year 2015.
World Water Week is a time devoted to seminars, events, and conferences that promote awareness of the lack of basic access to water and sanitation in global communities. Last year, I attended a seminar with a panel of Dr. Roberto Lenton from the World Bank, Dr. David Winder from WaterAid, and Dr. Greg Allgood from Procter&Gamble at the George Washington University campus. They each discussed their work in communities to combat the world water crisis. Very invigorating! Much so in fact that I have signed up to volunteer to recruit restaurants for the Tap Project!
The Tap Project is an annual fundraiser hosted by UNICEF in several cities across the US including DC that brings awareness to the ease by which potable water is accessed here that we do not thoroughly appreciate and certainly take for granted. During World Water Week, UNICEF partners with restaurants to have them ask their patrons to donate $1 or more for the glass of tap water that are generally served free. Prior to the event, volunteers provide printed information and work with restaurants to train its waitstaff so that they are comfortable serving as references regarding Tap Project and the issues of water access.
Each year, the donations from all the restaurants are collected at the end of the week to contribute to relieving water accessibility and sanitation issues and implementing sustainable solution in selected countries. This year, the donations will be helping communities in Togo, Vietnam, Mauritania, and Cameroon.
An official list and map of participating restaurants will be announced immediately prior to the event. Visit the Tap Project website for more information on how you can help.
Go celebrate World Water Day on March 22nd!