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WaterPartners International plans to raise awareness of global water concerns
with its March 22 "One Day For Water." The event coincides with the
United Nations' World Water Day.
The organization has launched a public awareness campaign that includes its www.water.org
Web site, where educators and others can download complete lesson plans and
information related to global water supply issues. The turnkey "One Day for
Water" kits include activities, formulas for tracking water usage, a quiz,
and links to other water-related sites.
Based in Columbia, Missouri, WaterPartners International is a non-profit
organization dedicated to raising global awareness of the problems caused by
unsafe and inadequate water supplies in developing countries. The organization
also raises funds for community water and sanitation projects in those
"Our challenge is impressing the urgency of the global water problem upon
Americans, many of whom take it for granted that clean water is available at any
faucet," says WaterPartners International executive director Gary White.
"People with a convenient, adequate supply of clean water don't recognize
that the lack of safe water is a crisis." Water-related diseases account
for 80 percent of all sickness in the world, and for four out of five deaths of
children who die before their fifth birthday.
The organization's unique approach has led to a 100 percent success rate.
WaterPartners International works through local partner organizations in
developing countries to help communities construct their own drinking water
systems. In addition to providing capital for pipes and concrete, WaterPartners
emphasizes mobilizing communities so they can build a sustainable system that
has the greatest impact on health and overall community development.
WaterPartners began in 1990 as a benefit dinner organized to support a safe
drinking water project in Honduras. In 1993, it was formally incorporated as a
nonprofit organization. Today, the group has six U.S. chapters, a $200,000
annual budget, and has funded a total of 35 projects.