"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death", Elie Wiesel
We have a couple of naked facts and figures: "Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause
80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren't strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses. 90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old. Many of these diseases are preventable. The UN predicts that one tenth of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply and sanitation".
The UN Millenium Development Goals (UNMDG) set the following targets: "By 2015, reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water", starting from the basic reality: "One billion people lack access to safe drinking water, 2.4 billion to adequate sanitation. To achieve this target, an additional 1.5 billion people will require access to some form of improved water supply by 2015, that is an additional 100 million people each year (or 274,000/day) until 2015".
The same UNMDG outlines: "The main indicators for progress towards this goal are:
- Proportion of population (urban and rural) with sustainable access to an improved water source".
One of the advantages of living in the 21st century is the extended possibilities that we, as individual citizens of the world, have to share ideas, actions and global awareness campaign all over the world. The Internet, with a limited usage in the regions more affected by global poverty and water shortages, is one of the most powerful weapons we have for creating the proper environment for action. Twitter, Facebook, youtube and other opportunities we have at our disposal through social media constitute a valuable tool in pushing new ideas and calling for action. It creates visibility and global conversations, pushing ideas right on the table of the world decision makers.
On the other hand, the possibilities for a valuable change and for targeted decisions from the part of the global players are still limited. In the last decade, many campaigns started in the virtual world were not able to get translated into real policies and purposive actions. Beyond data and statistics are real people, with real needs, and the 2.0 might be only the first step from a long-term strategy aimed to reverse our usual indifference. For a real success we have to believe that our case is a good one and we have to be aware that every human being counts. We have to think about this every time we are sipping or wasting a drop of water. It is called global responsibility of individual citizens.
I wish we'll have good luck!