Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Floating Dichotomy

My Facebook status yesterday said this:

People in Haiti and around the world are dying because they do not have fresh, clean drinking water. How thankful we should be for a hot shower.

The most effective treatment for the Cholera epidemic that is sweeping through Haiti right now -- more effective than antibiotics -- is clean water.  That's it.  Both prevention and cure. And yet it is too expensive and too difficult to deliver to most who need it.

I was at an AIDS conference a few years back and the keynote speaker stood up at the podium and poured a 16-ounce glass of ice water and set it down.  Then he said "If this was the cure for AIDS, most of those who need it couldn't afford it."

And here we are, nestled in the Great Lakes Basin, dumping enough of that precious cure on our bodies every day (10 gallons in a five-minute shower) to keep five active Cholera patients alive -- ten, if they are children.  In total, the average American uses 50 gallons of fresh water daily for bathing, dish-washing, clothes washing, toileting, etc...but only drinks about 1 gallon.  And most of that, we have polluted with sugar, caffeine, or other chemicals that don't benefits our bodies.

Making clean water a priority in the world is not rocket science.  Most of it can be accomplished with low-volume pumps, simple filtration, and plastic soda bottles.  

I'm not saying that we should give up showers, or coffee for that matter.  But I am saying that we should know where our blessings lay and realise that not even the worst off among us is having to watch their children die of diseases that can be cured with the most basic of necessities.

Feeling a little thankful today?  Enjoying your morning shower?  Think about supporting one of the organizations that is bringing clean water to the poorest in this world.  I included some links above.

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