The United States House of Representatives: Pass the Water for the World Act (H.R 2901)
To provide 100,000,000 people with first-time access to safe drinking water and sanitation on a sustainable basis by 2015 by improving the capacity of the United States Government to fully implement the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005. (A) makes access to safe water and sanitation for developing countries a specific policy objective of United States foreign assistance programs; (B) requires the Secretary of State to: 1. develop a strategy to elevate the role of water and sanitation policy 2.improve the effectiveness of United States assistance programs undertaken in support of that strategy; (C) codifies Target 10 of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (D) seeks to reduce by half between 1990 (the baseline year) and 2015 1. the proportion of people who are unable to reach or afford safe drinking water 2. the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation.
780 million people in the world do not have access to clean water, that is two and a half times the size of the United States. The water or the world act is one of the most influence pieces of legislation presented to congress due to the severity of the water crisis. This bill contributes to strengthening USAID and existing water and sanitation programs. Bill Clinton once said "We cannot build our own future without helping others to build theirs". Helping to end the water crisis around the world will not only save and improve the lives of many but strengthen and broaden US foreign policy, and improve national security.
Passing this bill would contribute to:
1. Women empowerment: A lack of access to safe water and improved sanitation close to home and at school can impact girls’ educational attainment and retention, limiting their ability to break the cycle of poverty. More time spent on education instead of finding clean water would allow better opportunities for employment, better health conditions for children and mothers, less sexual assaults fom women leaving alone at night to carry water
2.Health: every 21 seconds a child dies from a water related disease a small change like passing the water for the world would save 1656 lives a day.
3.Bolster long-term US economic and national security interest: for every $1 invested in water and sanitation provides an economic return of $8
4. Increase coordination for other WASH (water,sanitation,hygiene) programs:safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene must be coordinated with and integrated into programs and strategies for food security, global health, environment, education, and gender equality.
My name is Taylor Schaefer, I am the Regional Director for a non-profit organization called The Borgen Project. Please visit borgenproject.org for more information on this issue.