As World Water Day approaches, a local woman is on a mission to bring clean water solutions to the 844 million people around the world currently lacking access.
When Carly Powne began mission work in Uganda in 2013 for two months, she saw the hardships many faced in their daily search for clean drinking water. Caring for orphans of a civil war, Powne’s village well broke, giving her the responsibility of fetching dirty, often undrinkable water from the Nile River.
Upon returning home to San Antonio, Powne joined forces with World Vision, a global humanitarian organization and the leading provider, outside of government entities, of clean water on the planet. Although physically not in Africa, her heart was set to help those receive resources to gain access to clean and safe water.
“Serving children in Africa showed me the passion I needed for being able to serve a third world country, and to serve them continuously,” said Powne. “It opened my eyes when I saw statistics that children were are getting sick from dirty water, or hearing that they were kidnapped while getting clean water or injured by wild animals.”
Nearly 1,000 children under age 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene, according to World Vision’s website. According to Powne, there are more deaths attributed to contaminated water than there is from AIDS.
World Vision works in nearly 100 countries to bring clean water for one person every 10 seconds. In 2016, 4.6 million were reached with improved water access, 3.3 million people were reached with improved hygiene and 3,259 communities were certified as open defecation free by local governments. World Vision donors made this all possible in 2016.
Powne is proud of the results and would like for San Antonio to participate on her team on May 19 in World Vision’s Global 6K for Water to raise money for clean water across the world. Six kilometers is the average distance that people in the developing world walk for water that is contaminated. Participants can take that 6K away from people in need.
One also has the opportunity to donate money to provide one child with clean water for life. The best part about that is once one child has access to clean water, it gets passed on to their child and grandchild and future generations.
“A lot of people believe you could only dig wells, and World Vision has gone beyond that,” continued Powne. “World Vision has been working on research in impoverished areas to provide safe water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education so that illnesses decrease and health improves.”
On World Water Day, Powne would like for San Antonians to reflect on helping others gain access of healthy drinking water imagining themselves only having access to River Walk. Being mindful of this analogy could make many grateful for having a safe option.
“I want San Antonio to think about the sources from which we don’t use,” said Powne. “[River Walk water] is so clean compared to where people are getting their water from. Just the idea that fresh water is important makes a big difference.”
To register for the run and for more information, visit www.teamworldvision.org.