The American 'Rover' explorer has landed on the surface of the 'Red Planet'. There has been much eulogising over the ambition of this project, the technical brilliance involved, the extraordinary achievement, the further stretching of the boundaries of human ingenuity. The ultimate goal of the mission is, of course, to find 'life on Mars', for which the Holy Grail would be for Rover to discover any current, or even past, evidence of water.
While the scientists dream of finding water on Mars, some 785 million people still dream of finding clean, safe water here on Earth [current figure published by WaterAid]. While the scientists pursue their quest to shape the future for humanity, we - as a global community - must not lose sight of the urgent need to secure its present.
There are many wonderful projects being implemented at this moment to bring safe water and sanitation to outlying communities, but such projects are needed in greatly increased quantity and scale. This should be our planet's priority and every one of us can play our part. Donations to support the work of charities dedicated to this field are vital, but even more important is that the provision of clean, safe water and sanitation be urgently pushed to the top of the public agenda worldwide and kept there for as long as it takes.
Water = Life on Earth.
The threat posed by Covid-19 remains headline news across the world and 'expert predictions' are widespread that it will be another six to twelve months at least before it can realistically be brought under control.
This is frightening to those of us who live with clean, safe water on tap and good sanitation facilities, but must be terrifying to the millions who still do not have access to this basic human need.
According to Wateraid, ONE in every FOUR health centres globally does not have access to a supply of clean, safe water.
This not only directly endangers both the sick and the medical staff on the front line, but also causes major disruption and delays to international efforts to bring pandemics under control - so ultimately the world suffers.
At Water Incorporated we continue working towards the launch of our WashIF programme while, at the same time, urging everyone to support initiatives to bring clean, safe water to the world.
With the international community in the grip of the Coronavirus pandemic, one of the main guidelines for both personal and communal protection being issued by the World Health Organisation and governments across the planet is to greatly increase the frequency and thoroughness with which we all wash our hands.
Why? Well yes, it's obvious, and we all know... it removes germs and significantly lessens the risk of spreading infection. All very well for those of us who have ready access to clean, safe, running water in our homes, our workplaces and in many public facilities.
But this virus is now reaching areas of our planet where people have no access to clean, safe water. They live their lives in daily risk of contracting disease from either contaminated water or lack of water. And now Coronavirus brings a whole new threat, both directly to these people, and to global efforts to stem the flow of the disease.
Clean, safe water is life. Please continue to support initiatives to bring clean, safe water to the whole world. Thank you.
Friday 11 October is this year's International Day of the Girl Child. Launched by the United Nations in 2012, its purpose surely needs no explanation.
Of course, the need to diminsh gender inequality worldwide goes far beyond water-related issues, but nevertheless this is a key day on the calendar for all those working toward improving global access to clean water and safe sanitation.
There are many parts of the world which clean water and sanitation facilities have yet to reach where the daily duty of collecting water for the family falls on its daughters who both miss out on their education and can suffer consequential health problems from the excessive trekking and carrying. Furthermore, lack of clean water and absence of proper toilet facilities exacerbate hygiene issues for girls when they start menstruation.
So, we ask you please to recognise this important date on the calendar, and to continue whatever you may do to support and promote safe water and sanitation projects. Thank you.
Please support World Water Day.
This doesn't require you to do anything much out of your normal routine, EXCEPT...
...stop and think every time you reach for the tap.
World Water Day takes place on 22 March each year and is an initiative of the United Nations. It encourages those of us lucky enough to live in societies where water flows readily from our kitchen and bathroom taps to use those taps as little as possible.
Short of subjecting yourself to dehydration, if you would like to
support WWD, please use your taps as little as possible, encourage others to do
the same, and try to imagine living without access to fresh, safe, running
water at the turn of a handle.
World Water Day is all about raising awareness that there are still millions of people in our world who at best devote much of every day to collecting the minimum quantity of water they need to survive, and at worst risk disease and death from only having access to contaminated water, or at times not being able to source water at all.
Each year the UN gives WWD a different theme, and this year it is "Nature for Water". This is looking at environmental damage which is bringing about alarming growth in the level of water-related crises - floods, droughts, water pollution, soil degradation, and so on. To find out more, and to discover potential solutions, visit www.worldwaterday.org
Should you be inspired to make a donation and/or get involved, please note that here at Water Incorporated, we neither take direct donations nor manage projects ourselves. We have our very specific WashIF programme - explained here on our website - which we are preparing to launch. But there are established organisations out there doing great work in the field, and you can find some useful contacts on our "Links" page.
Leading UK water charity WaterAid has announced that "for the first time in history, 9 in 10 people around the world can now drink clean, safe water".
This is fantastic news, and is the result of the great progress being made by volunteers, fundraisers, charitable organisations and government bodies around the globe.
BUT, of course - as WaterAid is quick to point out - this still leaves an estimated 650 million people in the world WITHOUT ready access to clean, safe water, so there is still a huge amount of work to be done.
For those of us born and brought up in homes with safe water on tap and the shelves of local stores laden with an abundance of bottled mineral waters, it is almost unimaginable to have to walk miles every day for no reason other than to collect a drink, or worse still to have no option but to drink filthy, contaminated water risking disease and death with every sip.
Here at Water Incorporated we're hoping to soon be much closer to launching our WashIF programme and making our contribution to the drive to ensure that everyone has access to clean, safe water. Please watch out for our progress, and meanwhile, if you wish to support active safe water projects, you can find some useful information on our "Links" page.