Image courtesy Water.org
Astonishing. More people have access to a cell phone than have access to a toilet? Yes. In a world of 6 billion, 2.5 billion have to squat behind a bush, if they’re lucky enough to be near a bush. Nearly half!
How is it possible that a person can own a cell phone, or have access to one, but have little or no access to clean water and toilets? Cell phones are cheap, for one, easy to pick up, especially disposable units. Housing, let alone housing with a privy—inside or outside—that’s much more difficult to come by. And if you don’t have a home, if you live on the street, fuhgeddaboudit! Would you open your home to every homeless person who needs a toilet? Neither would I. I know that for a fact. Maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to assume you wouldn’t. You tell me.
Where do they go, all these people who have no toilet? Where do they wash up afterwards? Does it matter to you and me? Is this a problem about which we have the means and power to do anything, anything at all? Yes, again.
Friday, October 15, is Blog Action Day 2010: Water. The folks at Water.org think we can make a difference just talking about it. They want us to have a global conversation about water. Because when we talk about it, a few people who didn’t know about the problem might listen, and just maybe they’ll start talking about it too. The good news is, the water and sanitation problems are all fixable. It’s just a matter of will. We have to get the right information into the hands of the right people. So on Friday, I plan to blog and tweet and post on my (new) Facebook wall about water, because there is something wrong about a world where almost anyone can have a cell phone in their pocket, and almost half of them half to worry about it dropping into the ditch while they squat in the street to do their business. If that’s too graphic, I apologize. In the face of such enormous inequity, I seem to be losing my will to remain genteel and speak obliquely.
This short video is just a mite over one minute in length and shows us why we should care. Spare a moment to watch it, if you can. It’s just entertaining enough to make it easy. Well, yes, that’s the truth of it. It is just enough entertaining.
So what do you think? What would you do if you had no access to a toilet? Are you interested in blogging/tweeting/posting to your wall about Blog Action Day 2010: Water? It’s difficult to imagine how just talking about it can do any good, but when enough of us are jamming the data lines in a world-circling conversation, and thinking about what has become a very real crisis in many parts of the world, a crisis that has the potential to stretch all the way to our comfort zone, according to some water watchers, there’s a chance some of the power brokers—television, radio, politicians, decision makers--might sit up and notice. Awareness is the first step to solving a problem.
We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.