March 22nd is World Water Day!
World Water Day is an internationally recognized day to celebrate water and raise awareness of the continued global water crisis. A primary focus of this designated water appreciation day is to increase the awareness and pursuit of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 – water and sanitation for all people by 2030.
This year’s World Water Day theme is valuing water.
“The value of water is about much more than its price – water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment. If we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource. SDG 6 is to ensure water and sanitation for all. Without a comprehensive understanding of water’s true, multidimensional value, we will be unable to safeguard this critical resource for the benefit of everyone.” (source)
For more than 22 years, PWW has focused on empowering people, living in underserved communities, to gain sustainable access to this most precious, basic necessity for life. For PWW, the value of water for the families and communities served is simple: it’s life. Safe water is the foundation for good health, new hope, and provides the key to opening doors to life’s future.
PWW partner, CAWST, recently asked PWW team member, Junior Seraphin (WASH Training Coordinator in Haiti), how he values water:
1. What is the benefit of water for you and your family?
Water plays a very important role in my life and in the life of my family. It is the precious element and essential to our survival. We use it for drinking, for washing and cooking food, for personal hygiene and for washing dishes and linens. We can live without shelter, without clothes for a week or two, without eating for days, but, without water, we count the hours and minutes to die.
Water is a common thing, accessible to everyone and sometimes inexpensive, but so many people do not see its importance. It is only in a crisis when they realize how much water is needed. But, for me and my family, we don’t wait for a crisis to make water important.
Finally, when my wife thinks about food, she starts with the essential ingredient: water. When my rural parents think about soil conservation, they start with the element that is soil formation’s greatest friend: water. And when I think of water, I think of life on earth.
2. What does water mean for the communities you work with?
For the community we are working with (in Pistere, Haiti), we are implementing a Home Water Conservation and Treatment (CTED) project. Water means a lot of things. Some people have heard that water makes their community prosperous because they have enough water to use, even though it is not good quality. For them, there is no life and no development without water. A community without water looks like a lifeless body. Nothing will function as normal. They use water for agriculture, for domestic use and for building their homes. In summary, water plays a very important role for their community and also for their health.
3. What is the biggest water challenge you want to solve?
The biggest challenge for me, that I want to solve, is to sensitize the majority of Haitians, living in rural and urban areas, about the importance and management of water in order to avoid the problem of water scarcity in Haiti.
4. How has the value of water changed amid COVID?
I think the value of water is increased because of COVID-19. Everyone, who has the opportunity [access], uses clean water with soap to wash their hands rather than alcohol-based solutions, but the quantity of water is reduced. Public and private organizations distribute water in the different working-class neighborhoods for hand-washing because so many people cannot afford to purchase a bucket of water (10 gourdes) to drink and to prepare food. Water has become rare and precious. The value of water has increased, but more people have become vulnerable because of the lack of access.
5. Complete this sentence: I value water because…
I value life.
How do YOU value water? This World Water Day, join PWW in celebration of water and the powerful, invaluable role it plays in life.
In celebration of World Water Day 2021, PWW is hosting a virtual auction: H2O = Health, Hope & Opportunity. This online shopping experience will not only provide participants with online shopping access to unique items, but the funds raised will go directly toward providing this invaluable, precious resource to children and their families who are currently living without. The auction will take place March 18-22, with the link to the auction going live on March 13. Be sure to follow PWW on social media to stay up-to-date on all of the details!
You can have a sneak peek of the auction by clicking here.