There are 7.5 billion people in the world as of April 2017. Estimates put the world population at 11.8 billion by 2100. That’s a lot of people.
Now consider this. The Earth is composed of 71% water, with 99% of that water unusable by humans and other animals. According to water.org, 664 million people around the world have no access to safe water. A third of the world, roughly 2.4 billion people have no access to proper sanitation. $260 billion is lost worldwide each year due to water related illnesses, disease, and other factors that otherwise could be used for productive enterprise and commerce. Those are stunning statistics for a world that is 71% water, and it is an economic, environmental, and a humanitarian crisis that can’t be allowed to continue under the stewardship of capable and responsible human beings.
If the mission of Leadership Zen is to promote, through the development of individuals, civil and human rights throughout the world, then I believe that understanding the tenuous relationship between the various types of sustainability are an important part of that endeavor. Water is central to several of those tenets because of the impact that not having proper clean drinking water and overall sanitation has on the whole works. As an example, women around the world are disproportionately responsible for finding water in towns and villages all over. This takes them away from the education, family care, and other activities that can break the cycle of poverty. We can do something to affect that cycle, and everyone benefits.
Our appeal is two-fold. First, it is an easy problem to ignore because most of us don’t worry about where our water comes from or how sanitary our lives generally are. It is time to open your hearts and minds and understand that isn’t the reality for hundreds of millions of people. And that isn’t even the people you don’t know. They could be your neighbors, or in neighborhoods down the street. This is a universal problem that requires our attention, and our compassion.
Second, open your mind to understand the scope of the problem, and its inter-relatability to your world. This is not an isolated issue that affects others. It’s a problem with impact on all of our lives, because of the costs of treating the problem after the fact when a simple look at the problem today could solve for that. Problems after the fact usually cost more than problems solved ahead of time.
I encourage you to check out water.org. We’re not equipped (yet) to solicit donations for this cause, but will be once the #CauseChange Foundation website is up and running (it is posing some peculiar challenges to my technological aptitude right now). Even a small donation, or even if you can’t give educate yourself on the problem and be an advocate. There is much work in the world for us to cause change. Here is a tangible means to start making that happen.