With nearly three-quarters of the earth covered in water, it can be heard to fathom that less than 1% of it is accessible freshwater. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1 billion people are currently forced to use water from hazardous resources for cooking, bathing and consumption. Approximately half of this vulnerable population are children.
Journeying long distances to collect water is a chore for over 2 billion women and children across the world. Young girls in particular are disproportionately impacted by water scarcity, as it is typical for males go out to work where they can while sons go to school, if the family can afford it, and mothers to stay home to take care of their babies and do housework. Thus, young girls are tasked with fetching water for their families and deprived of the opportunity to getting an education or enjoying the childhoods they deserve. For many, this walk takes hours, and the water collected is contaminated with microorganisms that cause waterborne diseases such as cholera giardiasis, and E. coli.
These unjustifiable conditions in which children across the globe live daily, are a humanitarian issue that cannot be ignored. They will be among the first of those who are impacted by the climate crisis, as droughts and water scarcity rise along with global temperatures. The right for everyone to have safe, sufficient, and accessible water is just one of the many reasons why I will be striking for climate action this September.