Posted on Feb 07, 2022
President Liza Leonard’s March 2022 message.

Fellow Rotarians,
As we enter March and get the earliest hints of spring, my mind goes to the runoff of melting snow filling of our streams, rivers, lakes, and aquifers here in Idaho. Despite the droughts we experienced, the increase pressure from the growing population, and environmental threats we must consider, we are lucky to have the supply of clean water that we access without having to think much about it when we turn on the faucet.

March’s area of focus from Rotary International is Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Clean water is a basic necessity for a healthy and productive life. According to the World Health Organization’s latest published information, globally more than 785 million people do not have access to at least basic water services, and more than 884 million people do not have safe water to drink. Only around 45% of the global population uses safely managed sanitation services. About 3 billion people worldwide lack adequate facilities to safely wash their hands at home. The impacts of a lack of access to water has rippling effects across world populations. As women and girls are more likely to be responsible for collecting water for their families, their responsibilities make it more difficult for them to have time to attend school or gain an education. Disease and infection can spread easily through poor sanitation, which leads to debilitating disease and high mortality in developing countries, particularly in children younger than 5 years old.

How can you help be part of the solution? Investing in water and sanitation has proven to demonstrate a consistent return on investment. Consider setting up reoccurring payments to the Rotary Foundation as a method of aiding in water and sanitation projects around the globe. According to Rotary International, it takes just $24 to provide one person with safe water. Since 2013, The Rotary Foundation has invested more than $130 million to over 2000 projects worldwide. This is in addition to Rotarians volunteering to do the labor to improve access to basic sanitation services to communities, schools, healthcare facilities, all while protecting and conserving water resources. As a club, we should consider what we can do with our resources to support Rotary’s initiative to improve the world’s access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.

Rotarians are people of action. Assess what YOU can do to help to bring clean water to vulnerable communities - set up or increase your donation amount to The Rotary Foundation, volunteer to join our International Service Committee to inspire action in this area of focus, and observe World Water Day on March 22nd by bringing awareness to the issues and solutions to water, sanitation and hygiene. Let’s help make access to water and sanitation a human right afforded to all.