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Water for the World

© 2012 Wezzie Banda/World Vision

Lack of clean water affects health, food security, productivity, girls’ access to school and community sustainability. Without improve sanitation there is increased disease, risk-to-safety and harm to the environment and community.

– In just one day, it is estimated that more than 152 million hours of women and girls’ time is consumed for the most basic of human needs — collecting water for domestic use.

– One in 10 girls drop out of school or miss one week per month when they start menstruating because of the lack of toilets.

– More than 2.5 times more people lack water than live in the United States.

The Water for the World Act enables the United States to sustain water, sanitation and hygiene projects around the world that were created as a part of the Water for the Poor Act of 2005. The bill increases country-ownership of water, sanitation and Hygeine projects to ensure that our foreign assistance dollars meet the needs of poor local communities, rather than officials in Washington; and increases transparency of aid by creating monitoring and evaluation standards that focus on impact to ensure USAID and the State Department can identify and utilize best-practices. You can read the full details here.

The Water for the World Act has not yet been introduced in the 113th Congress, but has the power to positively impact the millions of women and children disproportionately affected by the water crisis.

You can speak out. Find your members of Congress contact information here and when you call, simply say the following:

Hello, my name is ______ and I am a constituent calling from _______. I would like to urge the Senator/Congressman/woman to support the Water for the World Act when it is introduced. This bipartisan bill will play a vital role in increasing access to clean water and sanitation. The bill will increase both the effectiveness and sustainability of the investments the United States makes in water, sanitation and hygiene projects.

Nearly one billion people lack access to clean drinking water and some 2.5 billion people do not have access to proper sanitation. These conditions kill more than 1.8 million children under the age of 5 every year, 5,000 every day.

(Feel free to add any personal experience you have seeing water projects in person or note that lack of water and sanitation access disproportionally impacts women and girls since the time they spend collecting water takes them away from school or activities that can generate income for their families.)

I encourage the Senator/Congressman/woman to support this bipartisan act and join the fight for clean water. The bill has not been introduced yet, but please contact _________ (Representatives Blumenauer and Poe if calling a House office/Senators Durbin and Corker if calling a Senate office) for more information or to cosponsor the legislation.

Could I please receive a written response with the Senator/Congressman/woman’s position on Water for the World?

Thank you.

Want to do more? Attend World Vision’s H2O conference in March. It’s a gathering with a goal: to help bring clean water and improved sanitation to 768 million people around the world.

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