Just to be able to see another day, millions of families and orphaned children are forced to take their chances drinking dirty water. Contaminated water can kill, with close to half a million diarrhea deaths estimated every year.
So, what do you pick? Do you choose to drink unhealthy drinking water in the hope that you suffer from nothing more serious than a slightly upset stomach, or do you go without any water and endure the consequences of dehydration?
It is thought that at least two billion people around the world consume drinking water contaminated with feces containing dangerous bacteria, and that 144 million people’s only source of drinking water is surface water.
Just some of the harmful diseases that can be transmitted through drinking dirty water are:
These diseases, mixed with inadequate medical and sanitation facilities, often result in fatalities for those living in the most desperate communities. Most of the above diseases are easily treatable with proper medical supplies and facilities, but without prompt treatment, they can soon manifest into something much more serious.
Salmonella, of which there are more than 2,500 sub-types, is one of the most common bacteria that is found in untreated water, which can cause a range of illnesses. Those suffering from a salmonella infections often experience diarrhea, abdominal cramps and vomiting. Usually this will pass without the need for treatment, although some will require hospital care.
Once contracted, salmonella (and other bacteria like E. coli) can then be transmitted from person to person through a fecal-oral route. Human transmission of salmonella is most common between infants who do not practice good hygiene, as well as by eating food that has been prepared by someone infected with salmonella. Due to the poor standards of sanitation present in the communities we work with, an outbreak of salmonella is never far away.
One of the most common side effects of contaminated water is diarrhea which, for the majority, will go away after a day or more. For those able to read this blog post, diarrhea is easily treatable with off-the-shelf medication, as well as ensuring that a bathroom facility is always close by. In the First World, it is nothing more than an inconvenience, but in the Global South where conditions are far different, that is not the case.
Many of the communities we work with are not only without basic sanitation facilities, but they are also overcrowded. This means the communities most susceptible to outbreaks of salmonella also struggle with a lack of facilities when dealing with the side effects. That certainly does not aid the already poor sanitation and hygiene levels present, meaning that transmission is likely to continue within the community.
As well as diarrhea itself, which most of us are familiar with, nausea, stomach pains/cramping and even hydration are other possible side-effects.
Dirty drinking water can have a profound effect on not just the person drinking it, but also the community for the reasons already explained above. Therefore, charities such as ILM UK are working hard to take away the need for drinking untreated water by delivering a source of clean and healthy water.
Our H2Oath water appeal has been set up to do just that. We recognise the need for better access to water in the communities we work with and aim to continue to provide facilities such as handpumps, solar pumps and community wells.
Without safe sources of water and proper medical facilities/supplies to treat those who become ill, an outbreak can be devastating in the community. Families lose loved ones, as well as breadwinners who would usually be responsible for supporting the family, leaving them without any source of income and at risk of losing what little they have.
By supporting the H2Oath water campaign set up by ILM UK, you will be ensuring that families no longer have to choose between thirst and contaminated water. One handpump provides clean water for five families (around 25 people), while community wells in Africa are built within some of the most deprived communities, providing safe drinking water for around 100 families (500 people).
Any donation, no matter how big or small, will be greatly received by ILM UK and you will earn rewards and benefits from Allah (SWT) for doing so. If you wish to donate an amount to fund any of the water well facilities we aim to provide, you can choose to donate:
Every year sees five million water-related deaths, almost a million (829,000) of which are due to drinking contaminated water, poor sanitation and hand hygiene. With your support, we can play our part in bringing down this terrible statistic and, hopefully, bring it to an end once and for all.
You can donate to ILM UK either through our H2Oath water campaign page or by heading directly to our donation page here.