Water is scarce…but information is aplenty

A young girl washes her hands in Guatemala

World Water Day is quickly approaching and with it, countless stories, facts, statistics, photos, videos, slideshows and clean water campaigns. Each time the world celebrates and recognizes something, whether it’s education, health, gender-based injustice, etc., I like to scour the web to find out more information.

Usually my first stop is the official World Day page. For World Water Day, which is March 22, that would be here.

On these pages I find tons of great information about the history of the day, events going on around the world and how I can be involved.

Then I start clicking on other pages to check out the different campaigns, news stories and to watch videos. All good stuff.

But, here’s my confession. In any search for more information, my two absolute favorite things to find are statistics and photos.

For example, did you know…

  • 85 percent of the world population lives in the driest half of the planet.
  • 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation.
  • 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases.
  • 71 percent of water collection burden falls on women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa.

             (All stats and figures from the United Nations)


When I read statistics like these, I remember and am so grateful to be working for Food for the Hungry (FH). FH staff members work every day in the remotest corners of the world to reduce these statistics. If you’re reading this, then you are a part of that work too.

Food for the Hungry constructs many different water projects, including:

  • Working with communities to build irrigation systems that provide families with drinking and irrigation water for crops.
  • Creating access to water through rain catchment systems – which are placed on roofs, and when it rains, a funnel brings the water into holding tanks.
  • Organizing water committees with community members to help build water wells and springs within a short walking distance.
  • Constructing latrines in remote villages and conducting training about proper hygiene, such as hand washing and cleaning latrines.
  • Constructing wells, de-silting water pans and building troughs for animals.
  • Helping communities find a well and laying pipe to bring water into homes.

That’s a lot, but you can read stories and learn more about FH’s work with water here. You can even give the gift of clean water to communities that FH works in, without leaving your chair.

So… as World Water Day approaches, remember that there are many ways to educate yourself, and even better, through your favorite avenue of communication, whether it’s a YouTube video, Facebook post or news story.

And since I also love photos, I’ll end this post with a few of my favorite photos from Food for the Hungry water projects around the world.

A young girl drinks from a water fountain in Nicaragua

A woman fetches water in Africa

A man washes clothes in Cambodia

A woman teaches children to wash their hands




About Esther Martinez

Esther Martinez is a Multimedia writer and photographer at Food for the Hungry. She is an Arizona native who loves to travel. Her background is in photography and journalism. Outside of work she enjoys discovering new foodie restaurants, embarking on creative photography projects and scouting the local music scene. Through her blog, you'll be able to see what comes across her desk each month.

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