Each year on March 22, UN-Water calls on people everywhere to help tackle the global water crisis. It's a great goal -- but can feel like a pretty tall order. More than 663 million people have no safe water supply close to home. That's way more people than occupy all of North America.
I've witnessed the power that water can bring to a community -- not hydroelectricity, but human empowerment. It happens when a single borehole is drilled deep into the ground, and a pump installed. Clean water becomes a source of hydration, refreshment and strength, freeing people up to do great things.
In many parts of the world, diarrhea is not about embarrassing conversations between adults, or toddlers licking electrolyte popsicles while watching Max and Ruby on the couch. And it's most definitely no joke. An estimated 30,000 children around the world die each year from diarrhea, a condition which most Canadians see as an inconvenience.
Boris Breuer via Getty Images
Children under five are more at risk -- they account for 70 per cent of all malaria deaths. More than 300,000 children died last year from an illness that's preventable with things as simple as clean water sources. Let's make sure that kids don't have to fight off a disease that racks their bodies with fever, pain and nausea. Let's stop malaria before it bites.
On the mountainside, listening to the World Vision Bolivia staff who guided us explain just how many kids get sick, and even die from the same disease I had suffered from, I wanted to cry. Children all over Bolivia battle this kind of illness every day. Little kids, especially those under five years old, undernourished already and with developing immune systems, are struggling to stay alive just because of the basic human need for water. Waterborne illness is easy to catch, as I discovered. But for children all over Bolivia, it is very difficult to get rid of.
We don't think much about water here in Canada - just turn on the tap and out it pours! But around the world, clean water is more elusive. It can mean the difference between life and death. For World...