World Water Day: The Difficulties Faced by Those in Developing Countries

World Vision Talks About World Water Day and KVRR's Morning Show's Crew Do the Water Walk Challenge

NATIONAL — Nearly 1,000 children under the age of five die each day in developing countries because of contaminated water.

Cheru is a five year old girl and lives in Kenya.

In order to get water for her family, she walks a total of four miles and spends up to three hours digging to find water.

“Cheru is a kindergartner and so she has to complete that walk every day before she can go to school,” said Maureen Bartelt, who is with the non-profit organization, World Vision. “Now, depending on the conditions, if water is scarcer, she may not get back in time to go to school. You can see how that can negatively impact her future.”

World Vision is an organization that is focused on helping the water crisis.

In developing countries, women and young girls are responsible for collecting water for their family.

A typical water jug they carry holds five gallons of water, which is about 40 pounds.

“The impact on your neck and your spine is awful and so they’ll often be very hunched over and it’s just from carrying the bucket,” said Bartelt.

The negative effects aren’t just physical.

“They’re not able to work outside of the home which, in turn, impacts the local economy because if they’re not working,” said Bartelt. “They’re not bringing in money and they’re not able to buy anything so the cycle of poverty is just so impacted by dirty water.”

World Water Day spreads awareness to this issue, which affects more than 600 million people worldwide.

World Vision challenges people to see how far they can walk with a five gallon water bucket.

To get a sense of what these people go through, KVRR’s morning show crew participated in the water walk challenge.

“You can definitely feel the weight on top of your head,” said anchor Emily Welker. “It presses down, it hurts quite a bit and it’s not fun to do at all.”

Even after walking miles carrying a heavy bucket, the water the people in these areas are receiving is dirty and contaminated.

“So you think about that, you’re walking and it’s just this awful, terribly difficult walk and then it’s going to make your whole family sick,” said Bartelt. “What a terrible heartbreaking thing to have to do every single day, but they have no other choice.”

World Vision will be hosting a 6K this May in Fargo to support the water crisis in developing countries.

Click here for more information about the event.

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