Did you know that an estimated 1.1 billion people around the world rely on unsanitary water sources for drinking?
That number got a lot of attention this week as the U.N. and other international groups observed World Water Day, a time for raising awareness about the plight of those who lack access to clean water. In some parts of the world, water is so scarce that parents must send their children long distances to fetch bucketfuls of water from rivers infested with bacteria, parasites, and even human waste. Clean water is a basic necessity that no one should have to do without. It is needed for drinking, bathing, farming, and for maintaining even a tolerable standard of living.
While some water-related problems are man-made, others are the result of weather patterns and natural disasters beyond human control. Cross Catholic Projects Officer Jim Kline recently visited Ethiopia, where a series of failed rains has been causing massive crop failures and food shortages. This is particularly bad news for animal herders and subsistence-level farmers who were already struggling to provide for their families before the latest drought struck. The loss of so many crops has resulted in spikes in food prices, hurting the poor even more.
Cross Catholic is currently sponsoring a number of great projects in Ethiopia, such as a center for street children in the city of Adigrat, and a health clinic for poor families in the rural, mountainside community of Minne. Please remember to keep our Ethiopian mission partners in your prayers as they cope with the effects of an extended drought. You can learn more about what Cross Catholic is doing to bring clean water to poor communities around the world by clicking here.