Kids & Unsafe Water
Kids living in urban poverty regularly have little control or no choice about the water they consume. In a world where restaurants and hotels for tourists can get clean water anytime and anywhere, it is hard to imagine that kids in the same cities cannot.
Most people would recoil at the thought of giving their child a glass of water contaminated by fecal coliform or E. coli. But that is what is happening in places where most people aren’t looking. The global water crisis impacts kids disproportionately: Over 90% of deaths from water-borne illness are of children and youth.
Migration to Cities
All over the world, the trends of poverty are abundantly clear: The poor are moving to the cities in droves. An epic migration is afoot. In 2007 we passed equilibrium. Before that time, the majority of the world’s inhabitants lived in rural areas. Today, the majority live in urban contexts. Changing times call for changing perspectives.
The landscape of poverty is shifting.
Tourists can get clean water. International hotels and restaurants have clean water. Clean water is possible. A solution exists for those who can afford it. Advanced water filtration—in high volume—is now actively used within local economies. The discrepancy is not technology, but justice.
Kids deserve to be in school, or playing—not collecting unclean water.
Improved ≠ Safe
For years, the UN imperative regarding water—in the form of the Millennium Development Goals—was to increase access to “improved water sources.” But experts have learned that “improved” is not enough. In fact, the UN Joint Monitoring Commission explains that the term “improved water source” makes no claim for the safety of water. But this is now changing as more organizations strive for access to quality water, not just quantity.