• Dr. Maxine McLean

The Challenges Of Not Having Potable Water

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Each day, many of us enjoy the privilege and conveniences of turning on our water taps, then outflows what we hope to be clean, potable water..


We can then do what we please; drink it, bathe in it, cook with it, and even play in it.

Many of us rise imbued with the assurance that we can shower or bathe for ten to fifteen minutes - cleansing and rejuvenating. We enjoy the free flow of water during this time, and it may never occur to some of us, what if we should wake up one day and have to adjust to a new-norm that includes a lack of water; what might our reaction be?


Only then to realize that we can no longer take that luxurious bath or shower or start our day with that clean glass of water. To top that, we must travel daily up to10 hours, a round trip journey to a dam to fetch water. Sadly, this happens to be our only water source, unfortunately, from a dam - habitat to crocodiles. We are horrified by the smell and fear for our lives; regardless, we must have water! Clean water. Though in our hearts, we know that crocodiles infest it and all their excretes - it's simply not clean, but still, we're grateful and hopeful.



Then we experience neck - back and all manner of ailments from the many trips of carrying water. We may question time and time again, is this my reality? Or is it a dream? Only to wake up and realize indeed, we were dreaming.

I created this scenario to demonstrate the urgency of this Global crisis for over 800 million people; it's their daily reality.


According to health survey-2014 - WASH -

  • "Over 800 million people lack access to an improved water supply. Sanitation, hygiene-related diseases, and other associated conditions, e.g., anemia, dehydration, typhoid, dysentery, and malnutrition, are the number one cause of under-5 hospitalizations and mortality.

  • Over 50% of hospital visit illnesses are related to waterborne diseases. Although help has launched and reforms stepped-up investments in water and sanitation efforts, the crisis remains evident. Countries continue to face considerable challenges in meeting the UN water and sanitation MDGs blueprint.

WATER RELATED CHALLENGES and CONCERNS FACING WOMEN

  1. Skeletal deformity and back pain are ailments suffered from carrying water containers to and from the water source.

  2. Miscarriage for pregnant mothers/women due to weight exerted regularly using 20-liter water containers is their norm.

  3. Occasional isolated instances of young girls falling prey to criminals while fetching water for their family.

  4. Schoolgirls use most of their class time to bring water for their families; thus, disrupting their education.

  5. The unhygienic living conditions for many women and their families lead to diseases".

Bringing it home to Canada-which has an abundant water supply. Yet, did you know that water in many indigenous communities in Ontario is not safe to drink? (Human Rights Watch stated). Many First Nations communities in Canada depend on contaminated water, challenges to access water, or toxicity due to faulty treatment systems. Currently, Gratitude Keeper is not working on water issues in Canada.

There you have it. How can you be part of the solution? Visit https://www.maxinemclean.com/donate and follow the prompts to donate.

#drmaxinemclean #cleanwater #gratitudekeeper


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