Special Report highlights a need shared by all the worldWILLS POINT, TX — Gospel for Asia has just released an eye-opening special report in conjunction with the international observance of World Water Day on March 22.If we take anything for granted, it is water. Like air, it is always there. With water being so commonly available, why would there even be a day dedicated to it? The GFA special report “The Global Clean Water Crisis” answers that question.
The report probes beyond the scarcity for millions of people living in abject poverty in rural areas where their only water sources are contaminated and where no reliable means of purification exist. Noting the current crisis in Cape Town, South Africa, the report reveals that at least 10 other major cities around the globe are facing looming crises in one form or another due to drought, inadequate reserves for growing populations, and failure to adequately maintain existing water-delivery infrastructure.
Burgeoning populations of major cities worldwide are stressing infrastructures beyond their capacity to deliver adequate supplies. In other urban areas, the underground delivery systems have been neglected for years allowing contamination through unmitigated inflow from sources of pollution. Flint, Michigan, is a good example of the potential results of neglect.
Two things make it difficult for municipalities to keep their systems operating within the scope of design. First, the costs for line remediation or reconstruction are prohibitive. The complete rehabilitation of crumbling U.S. water delivery systems could cost $400 to $600 billion over 20 years. Second, proposing spending on system rehabilitation projects does not have the vote-getting, political power that economic expansion projects have.
Regardless of the causes, the global clean water supply is not only in danger, but it is trending toward potential disaster. The report notes that China’s Ministry of Water Resources recently declared a need “to fight for every drop of water or die.”
The report emphasizes that we can no longer take clean water for granted. This is especially true when we realize that something can be done, if not in all cases, at least in some. This is particularly true where NGOs and governments can collaborate to supply wells and water filtration devices that could immediately reduce the annual death rate of children under that age of 5 due to diarrhea contracted through contaminated water (361,000 per year). That alone accounts for one death every two minutes.
Dr. K.P. Yohannan has long cited the clean water issue in Asia as a way for those of us who are more fortunate to have an impact on those in need. He said, “Helping those who are more vulnerable and in need is not a burden or an obligation, but an opportunity to be like Christ.”
In a blog posted this week, Dr. Yohannan addressed the global water crisis, including a recollection of a time from the early days of his ministry in Rajasthan when the area was suffering from a serious drought. The post reflects on what a gift it was to be given “the gift of water.” In this current global crisis, he reminds us that “We are part of God’s plan in reaching out to those around us who are suffering. We can be the ones helping to offer a clean drink of water.”
NGOs, many of them faith-based like Gospel for Asia, and national governments have undertaken the task of drilling bore wells deep enough to provide clean water for small communities and providing filtration devices through which surface water can be rid of contaminants. Another organization has embarked on a promising project that can create water out of the moisture in the air.
The only way we can stop taking clean water for granted is by educating ourselves on the scarcity of it and the need to eliminate wasting water and preserving what we have.
The special report is available at https://www.gfa.org/special-report/global-clean-water-crisis/
PHOTO CUTLINE: Consuming contaminated and unsafe water causes lots of waterborne diseases for the villagers. Unfortunately this waterhole dries up during summer and during rainy season the river overflows. Seeing the urgent need of access to clean and safe drinking water, GFA affiliates installed a Jesus Well in 2015.
About Gospel for Asia
GFA (Gospel for Asia) has – for more than 30 years ‒ provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially among those who have yet to hear the Good News. Last year, this included more than 75,000 sponsored children, free medical services for more than 180,000 people, 6,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 400,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.