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At the beginning of last year, we were without water in our household from around 10 in the morning. The tap in our laundry had broken off at the pipe and was leaking water into the walls. Finding a plumber was a mission that took the rest of the day - everyone was either too busy or not answering the phone. Then, when I finally managed to get someone they couldn't get to us until the following morning.
I started getting all worked up about it when it struck me how lucky I am. Almost 1 billion people worldwide don't have any access to clean, safe drinking water. (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply & Sanitation. Progress on sanitation and drinking-water: 2010 update. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2010)
I remember thinking how inconvenient it would be with my two preschoolers, one of whom was still in cloth nappies at the time. Every 20 seconds a child in a developing country dies from water related illness and diseases caused by contaminated water kill more under 5's in developing nations than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.
I was feeling intensly annoyed at not being able to get a plumber to come until the next day. Yet in Gaza people are still awaiting repairs to pipes and other infrastructure damaged during the 15 days of Israeli bombardment that started on December 27th 2008.
Like most Mum's with young kids, I had a busy day going on around me and the idea of a 2 minute walk to the neighbours to fill up a container or two of water didn't hold much appeal. Many women in the developing world walk more than three hours every day to fetch water.
Those of us in the developed world really have no idea how lucky we are!
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