Yesterday (March 22nd) was World Water Day. I wasn’t aware that there was such a day until I saw Peace Corps’ Twitter feed featuring a number of water projects that volunteers are doing around the world. I then remembered my two years of service without running water. Someone else on Twitter said that “More people on our planet have cell phones than a toilet.” This statement accurately reflects my own experience in Cameroon where my house did not have running water, but had Internet. Technology is amazing, but let’s not forget the basic needs.
Do you realize how much water it takes to flush the toilet? (enough for me to take a bucket bath) or how much water it actually takes to do various daily activities? I learned all of such information to an excruciating detail. Even toward the end of my service, I agonize over laundry days. Laundry days meant that my supply of water will be depleted quickly and if my neighbor kids don’t come by, I risk serious chance of water shortage. I am glad I no longer have to strategically plan how I will use and reuse my water supply. This results in a much more sanitary way of living. To save myself from embarrassment, I won’t detail the exact ways that I reuse my water. But let’s just say that it was common to use the same bucket of water for 3 different purposes.
In honor of World Water Day, let’s take a minute and imagine a day without running water. What activities require them? how much water do you think you need? And if you are so inclined, visit this year’s World Water Day page to see how you can contribute toward efforts that will bring clean water everywhere.