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New Steps for Clean Water on Tap

More than 844 million people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water. (CDC.gov)
More than 844 million people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water. (CDC.gov)
March 20, 2018

CHICAGO – The 25th United Nations World Water Day is being recognized this week, and advocates are hoping the message that comes with it will inspire people to sign up for a fundraising event this spring that aims to make access to clean water easier.

The Global 6K for Water walk/run is happening May 19. Ashley Colquitt, director of events at World Vision, says it's a 6K race because that's the average distance that women and children in other countries have to walk each day to get water that's safe to drink.

"So you can imagine, immediately after they give birth, they are still tasked with going to fetch water for the family," she says. "A child having to wake up at 4 A.M. to go get water, and then going to school, and do it all over again after they get out of school."

Large-scale Global 6K for Water races are being held in Chicago, Seattle, Kansas City and Detroit on May 19, but Colquitt says there are smaller events being held in every state. A link to more than a dozen events in Indiana can be found on World Vision's website.

Colquitt says many people in the developing world are walking miles a day for water that isn't fresh at all.

"They were fetching water from the same place people were washing their motorcycles, and the same place where they wash the school bus, and the same place where the animals drink out of," she explains. "That was the same water they were drinking."

According to World Vision, nearly 1,000 children under age 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation and improper hygiene. Across the globe, 844 million people still lack access to clean drinking water and more than 2 billion lack proper sanitation resources.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IL