“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.” 

Growing up only a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, I have always felt a large connection with water.  I spent my time growing up splashing in the waves, even skipping high school to ride my bike and bodyboard down to the beach to catch some waves.  The ocean was always my place to go to de-stress, whether it was running the boardwalk in high school cross country practices, walking the boardwalk while talking with my mom, or running on the beach to feel alive.

I’ve always lived where there was plenty of fresh water to drink and bathe in, too, but can you imagine not having enough desalinated water to drink? Or no access to a toilet?  This is the reality for so many of us across the planet. Did you know that 2.5 billion, or 1 in 3 people in the world do not have access to a toilet according to CNN?

When I was in Uganda with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign in October 2012, I witnessed many people walking on the roads long distances with large yellow water jugs to collect clean water for their homes.

Here is an example of people near Queen Elizabeth National Park in Fort Portal, Uganda using the lake to wash their clothes.  Mind you, it is a crocodile-ridden lake, so their safety was at risk.

Washing Clothes in River

Another two-some carried water in the yellow jugs from the lake to their homes.

Carrying River Water

Also, here is a water pump that was installed at a boarding school we visited in western Uganda. The school installed a rain collection system on the roofs of all of the buildings, which fed into this water pump because there is no running water there.

Water Pump Uganda

At Railway Children Primary School in Kampala, we found an example of a water tower.  The cachement area for this school are the capital’s slums, and it is highly funded by UNICEF Uganda.  This water tower makes it possible for the children to wash their hands after they use the toilets, which were then just newly installed.

Water Tower to Wash Hands Kampala

Here is the area for the toilets:

School Toilets Railway Children Primary School Kampala

Today, March 22nd, 2014, is World Water Day. Water is a basic need, a human right. There are organizations, such as Wateraid, working year-round to help provide toilets and clean water to people around the globe.  Think of them next time you donate.  And think of the people at this very moment who are looking for a place to “go.”

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by founder, Jennifer Burden, in New Jersey, USA. 
Photo credits to the author.  

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post, ONE.org, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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