Today marks the 25th anniversary of World Water Day. Drawing attention to the ever-growing need for clean drinking water, World Water Day is a chance for worldwide reflection on how important water is to people and the environment alike.
It is also a time for action. UN Water estimates that “2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services.” And, according to UN Water, “by 2050, the world’s population will have grown by an estimated 2 billion people and global water demand could be up to 30% higher than today.” How will we combat this growing need?
As an organization, CEF has aimed to increase access to clean drinking water by partnering with on-the-ground organizations in Guatemala, Ethiopia, India, Sierra Leone, Kenya, and Cambodia.
In Cambodia, CEF and Kids International Development Society (KIDS) have partnered on clean water projects in four schools. In total, these projects have brought clean drinking water to 4,700 students and teachers. Our latest—and largest—water filtration project for the Pouk District High School is nearly finished.
We caught up with Rick and Adrianne, founders of Nanaimo-based charity KIDS, in Cambodia to find out just how important clean water is to the daily life of a student.
“Before the water projects are implemented, kids have to go without water all day if their families are too poor to afford bottled water,” said Adrianne. “We have noticed that the playgrounds are pretty quiet at recess. The children are often thirsty and lethargic due to stomach aliments caused by bad water.”
Since clean water is made available, Rick said they notice a “marked differences at the schools once they can drink to their heart’s content.” With an unlimited supply of clean water, kids can be just that: fun-loving kids.
Adding to this happy story is a positive environmental aspect: students at the school will carry a refillable water bottle. Rick and Adrianne report that there is a movement at Pouk High School, and at many of the schools in the area, to reduce the amount of plastic waste caused by single-use bottles.
Providing students and teachers with water, in an environmentally friendly way, is a real source of pride for both KIDS and CEF.
It may not be huge contribution—compared to the 2.1 billion people in need of reliable, clean water—but we are thrilled to be a part of a solution.
Happy World Water Day, everyone!