Despite alarming global events and telling signs here, Canadians are still complacent about our water.
If Day Zero becomes reality, Cape Town, South Africa will be the first major city in the world to run out of water.
The world's newest country is once again facing conflict and drought that are producing a new generation of internally displaced people and refugees.
On this Earth Day, Canada is proud to re-establish its support for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. It is key to our commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. We want to help affected communities develop resilience in the face of the effects of climate change.
In late 2016 when the rains failed, a severe drought hit the arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya, affecting over 2.7 million people. Marsabit is one of the hardest hit counties, where thousands of children are food insecure and in dire need of treatment for severe malnutrition.
Access to water and toilets is transformative. It opens doors to education, health, nutrition and to a better livelihood. Access to water and toilets offers women and girls so many more opportunities to contribute their fullest to their communities.
Khadija and her fellow villagers are among the five million people - nearly two out of every five Somalis - facing food shortages exacerbated as a result of the ongoing drought. Failed crops and the loss of livestock are causing widespread misery, malnutrition and disease.
The need for support is urgent and helping children survive is our main concern. Canada has played a leadership role in international development and Canadians have always been known to provide relief in humanitarian crises.
The climate phenomenon has left us with not only a trail of destruction so vast that more than one million children will need treatment for severe acute malnutrition this year, but also a taste of what could be to come with its stormy sister, La Niña.
I was fortunate to have a happy, healthy childhood. I had nutritious food, a comfortable home, and an endless supply of clean water. But on World Health Day April 7, I think of children whose experiences couldn't be more different than mine.