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This morning as I got done exercising, something I need to do more of – lol, I simply walked over to the sink for a glass of fresh, clean water. This act is something that so many people take for granted. I must admit that I was one of those people prior to my first trip to Africa. The trip opened my eyes to all the issues that are impacted by the lack of clean water.

The UN Water’s web page does an excellent job of breaking the lack of clean water issues down into seven key areas. I will quickly summarize the page for you by reposting their headlines and you can visit their page to learn more.

  • Water is health – Clean hands can save your life
  • Water is nature – Ecosystems lie at the heart of the global water cycle
  • Water is urbanization – Every week, one million people move into cities
  • Water is industry – More water is used to manufacture a car than to fill a swimming pool
  • Water is energy – Water and energy are inseparable friends
  • Water is food – To produce two steaks you need 15,000 liters of water
  • Water is equality – Every day women spend 200 million hours carrying water

     You may be asking yourself how does fair trade fit into the clean water issue. Well it all comes down to this: By paying someone a fair wage for their work they are empowered to create a better future for their families. Those wages can be invested in systems to provide clean water. Families can afford to send and allow their girls to go to schools instead of fetching water. They can afford to buy a goat and know that they have the ability to feed and water that goat. Farmers will have the money to plant a crop and the water required for it to grow. People will be able to wash their hands and prepare safe meals for their family because they have access to water and the money to buy the food. All these statements and more are how fair trade relates to clean water.

Some of you may already be aware that March 22, is World Water Day. For those of you who are not familiar with World Water Day, I hope you find this blog informative. I hope that this blog and the link to the UN Water web page that I will post below stir in you the desire do something to help the 748 million people that do not have access to an improved source of drinking water. This could even be a simple as switching your consumption to fair trade items.

All of this talk reminds me of a conversation with friends from Kenya who visited the US for the first time. They were so completely overwhelmed by the fact that anyone could get water anytime, and it was free. My friends went on to say, how every time they passed a water fountain they were so giddy that they just had to stop to take a drink.

So here is to providing a drink of clean water to everyone in the world and to helping tackle the other issues that revolve around that glass of clean water, including fair trade.

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