Today is World Water Day, a UN day to raise awareness of the global issue of water scarcity and the fact that over 663m people still don’t have access to clean water and that a child dies every 19 seconds from a water related disease.
This year we decided to create the 5litrechallenge.com to help people get a better understanding of what it’s like to live on 5 litres of water – the equivalent of what many in developing countries have to survive on.
I was up at 5.45am this morning (had an early slot on Sky News) and whilst carefully pouring a small amount of water from my jerrycan into the sink for a wash, I was immediately transported back to Turkana in Northern Kenya.
I visited there a few years ago after the worst drought for 60 years.
Our only water source was water drawn from a new hand pump we’d installed. In the early chill of the morning I stood in a concrete floored small windowless room, carefully poured a small amount of water from a jerrycan and washed away the dust of the night acquired from sleeping under the stars.
I realised then, as I did again this morning, what we take for granted here in the West, is valued very differently by those in developing countries.