World Water Day highlights link between health and safe water

March 1, 2009 by PATH

PATH activities bring awareness to a growing global issue

Water is vital for human survival, yet in many parts of the world people suffer every day from illnesses caused by poor sanitation, hygiene, and water supply. March 22 is World Water Day, and PATH is marking the day with several activities to raise awareness about the links between safe water, sanitation, and health.

At the World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, PATH cosponsored a week-long training for journalists about the global water and sanitation crisis. As follow-up, 25 journalists from around the world will take field trips to Ethiopia and India for a firsthand look at how poor sanitation and hygiene leads to preventable diarrheal disease that kills 5,000 children every day. The training will enable journalists to expose the scale and seriousness of the issue and stimulate lifesaving solutions.

Also at the World Water Forum, PATH staff member Glenn Austin, director of our Safe Water Project, moderated a forum with Water Advocates and the US Coalition for Child Survival entitled, “From the Ground Up: How Innovative Water and Sanitation Programs are Improving Children’s Health.”

To engage US action for improving the world’s water situation, PATH will co-sponsor a congressional briefing in Washington, DC, on March 25 about US leadership and innovation in addressing the global water crisis.

Additionally, PATH has worked with GOOD Magazine, PSI, the American Chemistry Council, Water Advocates, and others to develop a series of videos about the links between safe water, sanitation, and hygiene. The videos, intended for Internet distribution, target socially engaged young people and encourage them to take action by educating their peers, supporting organizations working on water issues, and encouraging policy that supports water for low-income communities.

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