Product Innovation Trends

Blog Action Day: Water — Kiva Fellows & Water

Emily Down | October 15, 2010
Each year, on October 15, bloggers worldwide post about the same issue as part of Blog Action Day. This year’s Blog Action Day focus? Water. According to Change.org, one in eight people (almost a billion people total) don’t have access to safe drinking water. Eighty percent of diseases are caused by unsafe water and lack of sanitation. Lack of clean water also causes more deaths than all forms of violence — including war. As the Blog Action Day description states, “water moves beyond just a human rights issue. It’s an environmental issue, an animal welfare issue, a sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, deserving a global conversation.”

Rather than investing in AdWords, we at Jama contribute a portion of our marketing budget as loans to Kiva in support of entrepreneurs in the developing world. Because whether you’re in Cambodia or the United States, we’re all entrepreneurs.

We’d like to dedicate our Blog Action Day post to the good Kiva.org does in helping entrepreneurs and raising issues of awareness, including lack of clean water.

Kiva hosts a program called “Kiva Fellows.” These Kiva Fellows post from around the world about the “realities and impacts” of microfinance. Even just a brief search for water-related issues within the Kiva Fellows’ blog posts (on fellowsblog.kiva.org) lists thousands of results.

Casey Unrein, a Kiva Fellows member, posted about his experience in Trujillo, Peru. He writes that the locals can’t even drink the tap water, and they have to boil it. Water can be contaminated across the purification system, and the government and private utility providers “have not invested substantially in ensuring that potable water actually proves to be potable.” He continues:

“Partially as a result of Peru’s weak water treatment facilities, the infant mortality rate in Peru is 28.62/1,000 compared to 6.22/1,000 in the USA.Here in Peru a sick individual must purify their water in order to promote recovery, a mother must constantly work to ensure her baby doesn’t drink his/her bath water and flushing a wound in the case of first aid may introduce the bacteria that it was meant to remove.”

Another Kiva Fellow, Lori Gibson, wrote about her experience in Guatemala. In her post, she explains that although her office has Internet (including wi-fi), the home across the street is an adobe structure with no running water or heat. Throughout her post, she discusses the astounding disparities between people of Guatemala.

These two brief synopses of Kiva Fellows’ posts offer only a basic introduction into the issue of water. For more info, check out charity: waterwater.org or Blog Action Day’s participants.

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »