I don’t know a feeling more uncomfortable than being thirsty. When I want water, I want it now. I’ve recently discovered that my body needs more water than I had thought. By increasing the water I drank each day, I had less headaches, less anxiety, and less stomach problems.
In Haiti, I contracted a small cold from playing with coughing toddlers all week. Thankfully I did not get sick until I was back at home. For a few days, I have had a fever, a sore throat, a runny nose, and a headache. While battling this cold, I thought about remedies. My parents would always tell me to drink lots of liquids so that I can flush the germs out of my system. It is easy to get rid of a cold here. Take a cold shower to reduce the fever. Drink water to flush out the germs. Take vitamin C to boost the immune system. Sleep. The cold should last no more than a week.
But then take water out of the equation.
I thought about the kids at the children’s home. Did they have enough water to fight their colds? What about the kids who did not have running water in their homes? What would they do if they had a cold? How would their lack of water affect their well-being?
When thinking about the most basic needs of humans for life, most will agree that water is of highest priority. However, many areas of the world do not have access to clean water. There are plenty of ways to bringing clean water in a community. Digging wells and creating water filters are popular means of sanitizing and acquiring water.
While in Haiti, we had the opportunity to see a well that took water from 200 feet below ground and provided clean water for hundreds of families. Considering that people were alive where we were, I am confident that they have access to an adequate amount and quality of water.
Several organizations work in Haiti and in other parts of the world to provide clean water to thirsty communities. Thirst Relief International (thirstrelief.org) has a wealth of information on their website about the importance of water and what they are doing to help. Their focus is specifically on providing clean water. There are other organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse and UNICEF that do not focus on clean water but include it in their programs.
Research ways you can help improve the quality of water in the world.