Photo from Lutheran World Relief
Two summers ago, our Vacation Bible School decided to choose this issue to talk with the kids about and raise funds. Through the one week, we raised over $600, which went to Lutheran World Relief to help build wells for communities.
Water is one of the necessities for life. (I’m singing “The Bare Necessities” in my headJ). Many in the western world take the abundance of clean water for granted, my family included. We turn on the faucet and there is water to drink, clean with, cook with, or do whatever we want with. We can even choose if we want the water hot or cold.
I decided to look at some websites and see if they had published materials on the topic (I was sure they had …and they did.) The World Health Organization (WHO) has published “Guidelines for drinking-water quality.” As described by the United Nations (UN) this is a set of “international norms on water quality and human health in the form of guidelines that are used as the basis for regulation and standard setting, in developing and developed countries worldwide.”
I decided to look up information on Madagascar. We have some friends who have recently begun a 4 year stay there and so thought this would be a great place to see how their water rates. WHO has an office in Madagascar and some information including in a Health Profile, which compares their numbers to the WHO African Region. As of 2002 75% of the urban population had access to an improved water source and only 34% in rural areas. These are lower percentages than the WHO African Region, which means there is still work to do. One of the WHO’s millennium goals in Madagascar is to improve access to an improved water source, although I was not able to find information on how they are going about this work. A correction. The materials may be there, but they aren’t in English, so I don’t know if they exist or not.