March is Water and Sanitation Month
Rotary International has designated March as Water and Sanitation month. We in District 5240 are very fortunate. We turn on our taps and expect clean, drinkable water to be available to us. We have indoor sanitation that helps prevent disease.  We learn good hygiene habits at an early age and use those habits to keep us and our families healthy.
Others are not so fortunate.  Today, 2.5 billion people lack access to water and/or sanitation. More than one thousand children die each day from diseases caused by lack of sanitation and unsafe water.  In District 5240, we take this problem seriously and have reached out to communities around the globe to improve water, sanitation and hygiene. 
 
We work with the residents of the community to better understand their needs and priorities.  We help establish water committees that are responsible for maintaining communal water and sanitation systems including collecting small fees that are used for future operation and maintenance of the water systems. We help dig wells, provide filtration systems, build water catch systems, install latrines and hand-washing stations and support community education. Thanks to you, thousands of people around the world now have access to safe water and improved sanitation. Clean water and healthy sanitation form the basis for fighting disease, supporting education, improving local economies and providing peace. Thanks to you, children are in school instead of sick; women no longer walk six hours per day to collect clean water, and the lives of entire communities are made better.  
You can learn more about Rotary‚Äôs activities in support of water and sanitation by visiting the website of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Rotary Action Group (WSHRAG) at http://wasrag.org.  For more information about what our district is doing in support of water and sanitation or to get involved in a project, contact District 5240 International Service Chair Edwin Velarde (edwinvelarde@att.net). Remember next time you get a clean glass of water from your kitchen sink how fortunate you are.
 
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