It’s World Water Day: Millions are affected by water

It’s World Water Day today, sisters!

It happens on 22 March each year and is all about taking action to tackle water crises all over the planet.

It’s sometimes hard to imagine a world where water is in short supply. Here in the UK, the old joke is that it rains too much! But in many parts of the world, water is extremely precious.

You may have seen on the news that there’s a severe drought in the Horn of Africa. Worst hit are Somalia and South Sudan, as well as Nigeria in west Africa. A lack of water leads to crops failing and then famine.

But that’s not the extent of it.

Experts say that today there are more than 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water.

As we turn on the tap and drink clean water in our homes in Britain, we take it for granted. It’s probably even raining outside. But we’ve all seen the pictures on TV and social media of starving children desperate for just one drop of water in their parched mouths.

It really is shocking that so many in those countries spend every day simply trying to access clean water.

It’s mainly due to natural weather conditions, but war also leads to water shortages.

There’s a huge appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee happening right now, asking for money to be donated to help people in desperate need. It’s raised £17 million so far, just days after being launched, which is pretty amazing. We hope this funding will make it to those affected quickly so lives can be saved.

It seems unthinkable that so many millions of people are at risk of dying simply because there’s no water. But water – that clear, tasteless liquid – is essential for all life.

At the other end of the scale are countries that are prone to flooding, like Bangladesh. Most of the country is a floodplain and during the worst floods around 75% of Bangladesh can be underwater. The damage this causes and the effect on the people living there is immense.

So, as we mark World Water Day, let’s think of those who are adversely affected by water. The millions who live in areas where there’s drought. The millions that live in high flood risk areas.

The official World Water Day website says: ‘Wherever you are and whatever you do on March 22, make it about water.’ It lists some ways in which we can save water and help those in need.

Today, maybe we won’t take water for granted. Today, we can take a moment to think of those who have no access to water, and those who are at risk of losing everything because of flooding.

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