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Monday, March 22, 2010

World Water Day

Mar. 22 was World Water Day, an international day designated by the United Nations to help raise awareness and support for people who lack access to safe water.

In the developing world, about one billion people don't have access to clean drinking water. In fact, more people die each year from waterborne diseases than all violence, including wars.

This is why water and sanitation projects are so important.

A delegation from Islamic Relief USA was invited by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District to an event commemorating World Water Day. The organizers also presented Islamic Relief with an award for our work in the water and sanitation sector.

Gil Garcetti, a photographer and activist, shared his experiences in West Africa, where he met hundreds of people who walked miles everyday just for water, and it wasn't always safe to drink.

Garcetti, who is most known for serving as L.A.'s District Attorney during the OJ Simpson murder trial in the mid-90s, also shared brief excerpts from a one-hour discussion he had with Mali's President, Amadou Toure. Garcetti the crowd that Toure, like many African leaders, wants to bring clean water to his people.

"Everything good flows from safe water," Toure reportedly told Garcetti.

This is our belief as well, as water projects help people lead normal lives, as evidenced by Islamic Relief's projects in Mali. These projects help girls have time for school and mothers to concentrate on enterprise and business.

Islamic Relief has multiple offices in Mali and helps thousands of people in the country. Projects include health and nutrition, education, orphan support, and water and sanitation.

Islamic Relief USA staff recently returned from a visit to Mali. Click here to read more.

Click here to read more about Islamic Relief's water projects.
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