Posted by: beyond5 June 2014

 
This week in my news feed, this headline from The Guardian caught my attention.

 

Two girls died looking for a toilet. This should make us angry, not embarrassed.

 
These girls are a part of the 2.5 billion. We often talk about those without access to clean water: the 748 million. Less often do we mention the 2.5 billion people without access to adequate sanitation facilities (an accessible toilet that safely deals with human waste).

A conversation about toilets is not always the most appealing, but a lack of sanitation puts children at risk for disease, pollutes sources of drinking water, keeps girls from being able to attend school while they are menstruating, and puts the safety of women and girls as risk.

 
What can you do?

Talk about it. When you talk to your friends about the water crisis, don’t forget to mention sanitation. Here on Beyond 5, we will do our best to do the same as often as we can.

Contact your member of Congress about the Water for the World Act. This bill will assure that the United States government aid dollars that are allocated for water, sanitation, and hygiene projects will go to the communities where they are most needed, and therefore, have the largest impact. You can send an email here and join our call-in day on June 10.

Pray. Dear Lord, as millions of women and girls continue to walk every day to collect water, please walk beside them and keep them from harm. Bless the work of organizations that provide clean water so that more women and girls can leave this task behind to lead more productive and meaningful lives. World Vision Magazine has more ways you can pray for women and girls, and those without clean water and access to sanitation.

 

 
Photo: Girls outside newly constructed latrines at a school in Zambia. Latrines mean that girls can attend schools for more years, and without gaps throughout the school year. ©2011 Abby Metty/World Vision