Water: A Family Affair

Hygiene, sanitation, and water conditions have improved for many of us on planet Earth. However in 2017, 663 million of us have unsafe drinking water.

Let us consider these stories from around the globe with the daily struggle for water and compare them to your own experience.

In Niger , Foure Moussa collects 80 litres of water daily for her families use from a bore hole 2 kilometres away. To avoid the line ups she goes at night.

In Bolivia, Rene Visalla use 140 litres of water a day. They now have running water and a toilet. This has brought the family a measure of safety as they don’t go out at night to relieve themselves and are exposed to snakes in the bushes.


In Malawi, Rhoda January and her family retrieve 100 litres a day from a borehole. Before this they got their water from shallow wells that had to be treated with chemicals…chemicals they were generally to poor to be able to afford.

In Jordan, Abu Ibrahim and his family use 8,000 litres a day…200 hundred for human consumption and 7,800 for their herd of sheep. They have a nomadic life following the availability of food and water for the herd.

In Niger,  Hamadou Hama and his family have three choices to get their daily water requirement of 100 litres. They can get water from unsanitary pools of rainwater when available, or pay for water from a nearby tap( not available year round), or get it from a distant borehole.

In Myanmar, Nyo Oo and her family get their 100 litres a day mainly from a local borehole. In the rainy season they save money by collecting water from local ponds..but risk contamination.

In New York City , U.S.A. Ashely Gilbertson gets his families 1,000 litres a day from a tap in their home. Water supplied by the local utility.

From reading these stories we can see that in developing countries 100 litres a day will probably take care of the family…where as in our North American example 10x the amount is used. Of course it is just not the amount of water used but what is required to get it and the quality.

Consider these examples to your own daily experience.


Thanks to Huff Post,UNICEF Canada, and Ashley Gilbertson


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