Before I begin this blog post, I would like to begin by acknowledging the US House and Senate Democrats for passing one of the most monumental pieces of legislation my generation will ever see (well, that is until Gay Marriage becomes federally recognized by law): the passage of the US Healthcare Bill.
“We pushed back on the undue influence of special interests. We didn’t give in to mistrust or to cynicism or to fear. Instead, we proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things.” - President Obama
In my life though, today I am celebrating World Water Day! Per the occasion, the End Poverty Ghana Coalition organized a basic sanitation and clean water now program for the entire Ashaiman school district (approx. 2000 schoolchildren and about 8 local schools). The main activities involved raising awareness of water and sanitation and forming the world's longest toilet queue. That's right...THE WORLD'S LONGEST TOILET QUEUE!
So you can imagine...I pulled up to the schoolyard to find nearly 2,000 schoolchildren lining up to use the toilet, shouting and chanting "We want water!" and "We want toilets!" and "Wash your hands!"
The program raised awareness of the scarcity of water and its significant and inherent importance to the existence of life. Though water has been characterized as a "universal human right," thousands upon thousands of people on our planet do not have access to clean, potable drinking water.
Today I learned that in Sub-Saharan Africa, 7 out of 10 people lack access to safe sanitation; 40% are forced to drink contaminated water; and finally, that preventable diarrhoea kill 2,000 African children everyday (www.wash-united.org).
Attending the "Basic Sanitation and Clean Water Now" program was a great opportunity to witness the work of NGOs being organized in the field. It was also a great opportunity to understand how Ghanaians are tackling water and sanitation issues in their own communities. Following the world's longest queue, the Ashaiman municipal director was able to announce projects that are laid ahead within each school in the Ashaiman region to institute more sanitary toilets.
I will take time to post more pictures and the speeches later. But for now, Happy World Water Day!