70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water.
97% of the earth’s water is in the oceans.
Only 3% of the total global water is fresh. It is not evenly distributed around the world.
Much of the fresh water is in aquifers, deep below the earth’s surface – more than 800 meters.
Africa has about 9% of the world’s water resources but 13% of the world’s population. This means that the amount of water for each person is well below the world average and often at great distance from the people. Africa’s women and children are often obligated to use large segments of their time and energy daily in hauling water.
Predictions indicate that over the next 20 years, 30% more water will be needed just for farming. Twenty-five African nations will suffer water shortages.
When there is too little water, drought occurs. Drought is the third most common disaster in Africa.
Drought contributes to a) degrading the environment (deforestation, loss of land cover, soil erosion, overgrazing, etc.), b) food shortages due to crop failure, death of animals…leading to hunger and malnutrition and c) declining health and sanitation…an increase in sickness and disease as a result. Africa has the lowest coverage of water supply and sanitation services in the world.
The question that some consider a cliché comes into focus under such circumstances: What Would Jesus Do? It is a firm principle of AOP that the compassionate Christ would search for water to alleviate thirst. That is our pure motive.