Wise words from Water Aid are given below –
Ahead of World Water Day on22 March, WaterAid has revealed 10 comparisons between the time the UK population spends on everyday activities and the time people in the world’s poorest countries spend fetching water.
- We spend 47 minutes and 48seconds commuting (TUC). It may feel like 47 minutes too many, but it’s still less than a third of the time it takes millions of women to make one journey to collect water to meet their families’ needs.
- Across Africa, the average amount of time spent fetching water is three hours a day, with some people spending up to 10 hours a day collecting water. A total of 40bn working hours every year are lost to water collection. More often than not, the water collected is dirty, resulting in life-threatening diseases such as diarrhoea or cholera.
- In the UK, people spend an average of five hours 48 minutes on social networking sites per week (comScore). In Sub-Saharan Africa, that’s two trips to collect water.
- The average adult exercises just 50 minutes a week (Weight Watchers), which is less than a third of one trip to collect 20kg of water.
- A UK bride-to-be spends an average of 250 hours preparing for a wedding. That’s equivalent to 83 journeys to collect water. Planning the royal wedding will undoubtedly take longer!
- Mr Average in Britain spends six hours and 12 minutes a week watching, talking about and keeping up to date on football (BT Vision). After that amount of time, a woman in the developing world would be making her third trip in one day to collect water.
- We spend about six hours a week drinking tea and coffee (LearnDirect). That’s two trips to collect water, with no coffee break.
- It takes a mighty 3,600 study hours to complete an Open University Honours degree. That’s little more than three years spent fetching water – time better spent on education.
- It takes on average 47 hours of driving lessons to pass a driving test in the UK (DirectGov). In the same amount of time, millions in Africa will have made just 15trips to collect water, and they won’t be making those journeys by car.
- The average man will spend five hours a week staring at different women (Kodak Lens Vision Centres). In one week, the average woman in a developing country would have spent 21 hours collecting water.
“We might complain about the amount of time we spend travelling to work, but our daily commutes can’t compare with the hours women in the developing world spend walking to fetch water – a basic necessity we take for granted,” said Girish Menon, director for International Programmes at WaterAid.