As I kid, I can remember the Sesame Street song telling me to shut off the water while I brush my teeth. It seemed silly to me at the time. After all, how much am I really saving in just my one little house?
If my little house and the house next door and the house down the street, and so on and so on and so on, all saved a little water every day, that turns into a lot of water being preserved.
Being a part of a Rotary club is the same theory. It’s not just one club, but thousands of clubs across the globe that band together under one umbrella to accomplish amazing things.
Rotary International has proclaimed water purification to be the key challenge of the coming decade. To meet minimum world health goals, 125,000 people a day for the next 13 years will need to have access to safe water. Each year, 1.8 million people (90% of them children under 5 years old) die from preventable diarrheal diseases. Rotary has asked every club to identify a project associated with providing safe water in some part of the world.
In my district of 43 clubs, there are water projects in Honduras, Haiti, China, El Savadore, and Pakistan. Rotary water projects involve bringing in a slow sand filtration system that can be managed by the local population. One club in our district , the Glens Falls Rotary, partnered with 74 other clubs, 4 districts, The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, and Pure Water for the World, to combine funds and efforts to provide 2,500 bio-sand filters to serve 15,000 people with clean drinking water in Choluteca, Honduras.
And that’s just one project.
Several factors determine the best approach to water purification in rural communities. Most significant among these are:
- Cost. Villagers in rural third world countries cannot afford expensive techniques.
- Reliability. The purification system must operate for years with essentially no maintenance.
- Power. The ideal system will not be dependent on external power or sunlight to function.
- Location. Extensive field experience has determined that locating the water purification in the home produces the most effective results.
- Simplicity. Education of the consumer and follow-up monitoring by trained personnel are essential to success. The simpler the system, the better the outcome.
- Availability. The equipment must be constructed from materials readily available in-country.
Satisfying all of these requirements has led Pure Water for the World to advocate slow sand filtration as the preferred methodology in most locations. Slow sand filtration has been in widespread use in large and small communities in Europe and America for centuries. On a small individual household scale, this technique is ideally suited to the requirements of rural populations in developing countries. (http://purewaterfortheworld.org/the-solution/)
You can take a look at the filters here.
This is what Rotary is so outstanding at. There is magic in being able to reach across the globe to one of our 1.2 million Rotarians or another organization and have a great impact on the world.
As a Rotarian, I know I am part of an organization that has the capacity to do great things.
… and I still shut off the water when I am brushing my teeth.
- Blog Action Day 2010: Water (smartfamilytips.com)
- Blog Action Day: Collect and Conserve Water with the Rainwater Pillow (1800recycling.com)
- Blog Action Day – Clean Water (newward.com)
- Blog Action Day 2010: How to Save Water One Work Day at a Time (workawesome.com)
- The World Blogs Water (dothegreenthing.com)
- Ten Facts About Water: Blog Action Day 2010 (conversationagent.com)