Seeing the Unseen: World Water Week
Every year since 1991, the global community has been coming together to discuss water-related issues at World Water Week. This important conference attracts NGOs, policymakers, scientists, business leaders, and concerned citizens from many different backgrounds, working together to develop solutions to some of the world's greatest water challenges!
This year’s theme is Seeing the unseen: The value of water. The conference will focus on invisible water threats; in other words, the challenges that are often overlooked when it comes to water. Many of these issues are hidden from view, but they are no less important than the more visible problems. The unseen aspects of water policy include groundwater decline, virtual water, and the impact that water-related issues have on people, nature, and economies. Many of the world's most urgent water challenges are unseen; by understanding and addressing these unseen water threats, we can make significant progress in solving some of our most urgent water challenges.
Through Thirst Relief, one of our flagship campaigns, Penny Appeal has been providing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) solutions for over a decade. Over this time, we have installed over 40,000 water systems and wells, and provided clean drinking water to some of the most marginalised people in the world. Our projects have ensured that hundreds of thousands of people have clean water for drinking, cooking, and washing, while limiting the spread of water-borne diseases.
It's a testament to the growth of the Thirst Relief campaign that in addition to constructing wells, we have been able to branch into various innovative water projects that are appropriate to the needs of certain areas, and the new challenges that are facing the fight against water insecurity. Some of these include:
Innovative Rainwater Harvesting: Providing Safe Drinking Water to Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a country that is often faced with natural disasters, such as floods and cyclones. This can lead to a shortage of safe drinking water, especially in rural areas. In some cases, groundwater is contaminated with arsenic and saline, making it unsuitable for human consumption. That's why innovative new ideas like Rainwater Harvesting Systems are so important! These mechanisms allow beneficiaries to filter and harvest rainwater during the monsoon season, so that safe drinking water is available to them during the dry seasons.
“We are lucky to have received the rainwater harvesting system. If we can harvest enough water in the upcoming rainy season, we will be able to provide it to students all year long. That will help create a better learning environment at the school.”
Solar Panel Water & Power Centres: Bringing Life to Desert Communities
In a world where technology is constantly evolving, it's amazing to see projects like the Solar Panel Water and Power Centre being built. These centres provide running water and electricity to entire communities, and they're doing so in some of the most remote and difficult areas on earth.
These miraculous constructions use solar panels to harness the sun's energy and raise water from deep within the ground. This clean water can then be piped directly into homes or used by farmers to irrigate their crops. It's an incredible feat of engineering, and it's changing the lives of thousands of people!
“I came here to express my gratitude to the donors who constructed this solar water-well for us. Now I can access clean, safe drinking water. It is not far from our homes; I can easily collect 4 to 6 jerry cans daily without any burden. Thank you very much for your help.”
Improved WASH Facilities in Schools, Communities, and Clinics
At the community level, our Thirst Relief projects are also providing improved water, sanitation, and hygiene services in schools, clinics, and other community facilities. These projects also focus on hygiene education and formation of youth groups to promote better sanitation and hygiene behaviour. This is vital for ensuring that everyone has access to these basic human rights.
In various locations, we have also installed pipe networks to provide community water supplies through the construction of small-scale underground systems. These installations also include modern sanitation blocks supporting structures to hold overhead water reservoirs.
The Significance of Water in Muharram
This year, World Water Week takes place during the blessed month of Muharram – a month in which we remember Imam Hussain (RA) and his steadfast faith in the face of oppression.
This Muharram, let us commemorate the sacrifice of Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions, continuing their example by striving for clean water to those in need. At Karbala, Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions were deprived of water in one of the most brutal ways possible. Yet even today, there are many Karbalas around the world, and 2.2 billion people do not have safely managed drinking water. This is a disgraceful injustice that must be addressed.
This World Water Week, we’re more determined than ever to radically improve the lives of communities all over the world by providing them with access to safe, clean water. With your help, we can make a huge difference in the lives of thousands of people. Visit our Muharram page for more information on how you can help us make this vision a reality!
TUESDAY 23 AUG 2022