Water: The Essence of Life

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Water is literally the essence of life. It is the most important substance on earth for us humans as our body needs the nourishment to function. Despite such importance, we rarely pay attention to it until our body starts to show signs of dehydration—the feeling of thirst.  The intake of water is essential on a regular basis, but we usually take it for granted! This is because living in a more advanced and urban society, the access of water is so easy. All we have to do is to turn on the tap and there’s water to wash our hands, shower, etc. Moreover, there are even water fountains on campus that provides clean and filtered water. But these things are all luxuries that people in the third world countries can only think of.

My group member and I, decided to focus our group action project on water and worked with Water 1st, a non-government organization that focuses on providing sustainable water sources and personal hygiene amenities. After participating in this group action project, my perspective and view completely changed. In the past, I rarely thought about the origin of the water that I have access to, I take it for granted that it’s always there when I need it. However, after attending seminars and doing our own research, my life was changed. It was so hard to believe and comprehend the amount of time and effort one has to go through just to retrieve water. And these waters aren’t even clean, but it is the only thing they can acquire.
After working with Water 1st, I was surprised and excited about their works. I love how they provide people who are in need of clean source of water. I love how, rather than just giving them a clean source of water, they also provide and educate them as plumbers or supervisors to maintain and fix their own problems when it occurs. This is really exciting because this is solving the problem at its roots rather than giving them something they can’t take care of on their own.

With these water projects in place, it opens up much more opportunities for the people, girls who usually retrieve water can now use their time for education or other activities. This can really benefit the community not just economically, but also their physical health will increase because they are now drinking safe and clean water. I really appreciate this opportunity as a chance to understand what the world really needs and how we can do to solve these problems.

1 thought on “Water: The Essence of Life

  1. Jack Zaw

    Hi Kevin, I am glad that you and your group action went well and made you learn about the hardship that a lot of people in the developing countries had to go through in just receiving clean water for the day. In relating to my group action project too, which is trade but systematically it relates to also how food dependency and food agriculture works in our current worldview in trying to feed everyone also can have an impact on the abilities of developing nations’ people to get clean water. For example, in my documentary viewing, “We Feed the World”, the farmers in South America struggled to get decent clean water because a lot of their rain forest are converted into planting industrialized crops such as soy, corn and wheat so this depletes the water source for their daily needs. So I am glad that there is still a chance for these people in terms of Water 1st organization helping those in need of clean water and actually educating the people.

    Your comment about “This is really exciting because this is solving the problem at its roots rather than giving them something they can’t take care of on their own.” reminds me of the Chinese proverb “give a man a fish, you feed him a day, teach a man how to fish and you feed him a lifetime.” Most of the time, even in my documentary, the developed nations citizens are getting access to unclean water and not really knowing what harm it can do to them since it’s the only available source of water. Also I never seem to relate gender inequality with water until you point out that now that girls will have other opportunities to spend time on rather than going out to get water for their families. The more our world keeps pushing on the path of industrialized food and agriculture, we are also causing so many negative externalities such as taking time away from girls to get proper education just because they don’t have clean water access. It seems so unfair that the world is putting pressure on these young girls in developed nations. I am very glad that your group action project is helping to spread awareness on this particular topic relating to water.


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