Today, March 22 is World Water Day.
Two days ago it was International Happiness Day and also World Meatless Day and a few weeks ago Women’s Day. And you may wonder… why the celebration of all these International Days …
International & World Days
In the first place, they are hold because of existing global problems, and with the aim of raising awareness and calling to attention so that we demand our governments and states to act and take actions about it. They are promoted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, which besides pointing out these days, usually makes a description of the situation and gives recommendations to improve and solve the problems.
The truth is that there are so many problems that we could be claiming almost every day of the year … But today we will focus on water. This year, the United Nations has set itself the objective of raising awareness and guaranteeing the availability of water and its management in a sustainable manner.
World Water Day
Water is life. We all need water, to drink, to wash, to enjoy, to cultivate, to grow. Poverty, economic growth, sustainability and our health depend on water.
While living in Cambodia, I was able to experience firsthand what it is to live without running water. In the school where I volunteered, we had the luxury of having edible water, water was filtered through an electric filter. Sometimes we suffered blackouts that could last for days, and when that happened we ran out of water because the filter didn’t work. That is when we had to go to our neighbors, all shamed because they lived without running water or electricity, but we were there asking them to lend us water. They had huge barrils on the outside of their homes where water from the rains was collected, during the monsoon season, that barril gets full and then the water is used racionally during the rest of the year, we can say it’s a way of harvesting water.
I will never forget those showers, soaping and then throwing small pots of water back in the garden, it was actually fun, except that the water was frozen! I also remember another day, had a shower directly under one of the pipes outsite the school. The raining water fell directly through the pipe, it was also quite good, if you think about, at the end the pipe was like the shower head, the only problem again was the temperature of the water and that the pressure of the rain water was really really strong. In situations like this is when you really realize and value the luxury of having a hot shower and running water at home.
In the village we organized a survey to know the main concerns of the local families. Access to clean water, having toilets and access to health care were the most repeated. That’s how a beautiful project, where I could participate started.
Together with another organization specialized in the treatment of clean water and private collaborations, we were able to offer families ceramic filters made from rice and clay. These filters allowed to have clean water suitable for human consumption, they could drink it, use it to cook or brush their teeth, for example, that was an important step to improve their life standards. Families were asked for a small contribution of two dollars in order to give them a sense of ownership over the filters and that it was not just charity, they also had to attend a training to learn the correct use and conservation of the filters. The project was a success and more than forty families in the village, have these filters now.
The purpose of all this long speech is to raise awareness of how lucky we are to have access to drinking water, to be able to enjoy it whenever we want, and without the risk of facing polluted water. We should be grateful for that. Let’s try not to waste water with unnecesary extra washing machines, leaving the tap open while we brush our teeth or while washing up. Collect the rain water and use it to water your plants, take showers instead of baths … every simple gesture, even the smallest contributes to a water usage more sustainable and respectful with the environment.
Happy World Water Day!
P.S. Next Monday 26ht, I’ll be having a hands on cooking class at Gastronomía Activa, in C/ Maria Cubí 155, Barcelona. It will be about Fresh and Light Cooking with three incredible, delicious and easy recipes.