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BCHS Young Leaders caution not to waste our nation’s water

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March 22 was designated World Water Day, and it is interesting to note that:

• Nearly one billion, or 884 million people to be exact, lack access to clean drinking water… that’s one in eight people.{{more}} If all those people lived in SVG we would live like sardines and a humanitarian crisis will result.

• More people in the world have cell phones than have access to a toilet; 1.2 billion have no access at all, so rivers and streams are used for everything, including defecation. In SVG, most of us, even low income earners, have two phones or one smart phone – that’s the price of four.

• Every 20 seconds a child dies from a water related disease, most of whom are from poor or developing countries. Diarrhea is more prevalent in developing countries due to poor sanitation hygiene and lack of clean drinking water. In addition, diarrhea remains the second leading cause of death among children under 5 years globally. Nearly one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year – is due to diarrhea. It kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.

• Thousands of sixth graders will drop out of school this year because of water security, while 200 million hours of women’s time will be spent collecting the most basic of human needs – water.

• There are places in sub Saharan Africa experiencing drought for more than two years years.

Think of our neighbour Haiti and the problems people face daily due to a lack of access to clean water.

Citizens, visitors, people of SVG, despite going through a drought in 2010, we seem to have emerged more wasteful where water is concerned flushing toilet paper alone, leaving the pipe on while brushing out teeth, defrosting meat with the pipe on, wetting the grass with clean fresh water every day during the dry season, and the wastefulness goes on. Remember granny always says: “Yo never miss de water til de well run dry.”

Vincentians, we have our part to keep a sustainable supply of water and one of the ways is to reuse, reduce and recycle. Reuse water from washing to wash the cars, mats, scrub porches and verandahs or wet hardy plants. Reduce the time we spend in the shower with the pipe on or brushing our mouths with the pipe on. Leave frozen food in the bottom compartment of the fridge to defrost, or even in the sun. Don’t wet plants excessively or during times of direct sunlight. Parents, talk to your children about water wastage, especially at the schools; give them their own supply of water to walk with.

I am sure you can come up with more ways to conserve water, so start today if you haven’t started already. Be responsible, act wisely, water conservation, sustainability and security a must for the people of SVG!

BCHS young leaders ([email protected])