Publicizing the Global Water Crisis

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February 07, 2011

Publicizing the Global Water Crisis

Amy Hart (New York, NY) filmmaker and water advocate. Amy discusses her film, "Water First: Reaching the Millennium Development Goals."

Sharon pointed out that water in Africa is a critical issue. While water is abundant, there is little infrastructure for purification or delivery. Most remote villages drink from waterholes or rivers and there is an epidemic of water borne diseases causing death and blindness. Drowning is very common as is lack of education caused by the need to spend all day every day carrying water. A community well can make a huge difference.

Amy Hart is a documentary film maker who produced a film called, "Water First: Reaching the Millennium Development Goals." The 45 minute film follows the odyssey of Charles Banda and his quest to build wells in rural villages in Malawi. In many instances, Amy later used her own money to help the people she filmed.

1.6 billion of the world's 6.7 billion people lack access to good water. The simple acts of flushing the toilet and washing your hands could save many lives.

During her filming, Amy could not even find pit toilets in many parts of Africa. There is no water for hand washing or flushing. She believes there is no excuse for this and that the solutions are: (1) education and (2) more rural wells.

In her project in Malawi, the drill broke and many projects were shut down as a result. Sharon talked to her about tube wells (narrow bore) and the possibility of borrowing equipment from oil drillers. A minimum depth is required for the water to be pure.

Clean water and a good water management infrastructure are basic to agriculture, reforestation and economic development. $6,000 can purchase a well, educate a community, set up a local water council and save many lives. Water must be a global priority. All basic necessities relate to water.

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