EVANSTON, Ill., March 15 Although the United Nations designates March 22 as World Water Day, Rotary members around the globe are focused on the issue 24/7.
Rotary is committed to helping achieve the UN Millennium Development Goal that calls for a 50 percent reduction by 2015 in the number of people with insufficient access to safe water and sanitation, a crisis that now claims more than two million lives each year, a majority of them children. From 1978 through 2009, The Rotary Foundation awarded 4,923 grants totaling US $52.7 million for water and sanitation projects worldwide.
On March 22 Rotary will participate in a World Water Day conference in Washington, D.C. co-hosted by Water Advocates and the National Geographic Society. Speakers will include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
A humanitarian service organization with 33,000 clubs in more than 200 countries with a total membership over 1.2 million, Rotary is adept at tailoring projects to fit community needs. Rotary members involved in water and sanitation issues will sponsor a World Water Summit in Montreal on June 19, the day before Rotary President John Kenny calls to order the 2010 Rotary International Convention. Kenny has made water and sanitation a top issue for Rotary clubs since taking office July 1, 2009.
More examples of Rotary's involvement with water and sanitation issues:
-- Three Rotary clubs in Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska teamed up with a Rotary club in Guatemala to implement a water system for two rural villages in the mountains of southeastern Guatemala. Completed in late 2009, the project now supplies water to 85 percent of the area's residents. -- In the Dominican Republic, Rotary members from 120 clubs in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean have helped bring 19,000 bio-sand filters to 300 communities, providing clean water to 100,000 people. Use of the filters can reduce the incidence of pediatric diarrhea by up to 45 percent. -- Since 2006 Rotary clubs in Ghana, the United States, Canada, and Switzerland have worked with the Ghana Health Services and the U.S.-based Carter Center to drill boreholes and install wells in more than 75 towns and villages in Ghana, greatly reducing the incidence of waterborne diseases nationwide.
SOURCE Rotary International