Solving the Water Problem with the Help of LifeStraws
The risk of drinking contaminated or unsafe water is high for people who do not have the means of providing themselves and their families the privilege of safe and clean water. Water-borne diseases that affect these vulnerable groups include cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery, and Brainerd diarrhea (Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, 2005). Vulnerable groups have not been clearly identified as even those with the money and those with access to safe water are being affected by these diseases but, it is rational to point out that those without proper systems or access to safe drinking water such as the poor in the developing countries are at higher risk for the abovementioned diseases.
It is the desire and advocacy of the governments all over the world and the United Nations to pursue their efforts of “halving the number of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015” (UN Department of Public Information, 2005). It is with these great hopes that the said actors have launched the “Water for Life” decade last March 22, 2005 in sync with the World Water Day (UN Department of Public Information, 2005).
In line with all these abovementioned problem and advocacy, it is but timely that the concept of LifeStraw® has been developed and are now in being utilized for use in places where access to safe water remains to be a big problem. LifeStraw® is a “complimentary point-of-use water filters… that will help people obtain safe drinking water at home and outside” (“LifeStraw® at a glance”). Its main purpose is to be a tool that will act as a filter for unsafe drinking water making it fit for consumption and reduces the risk of water-borne diseases for the people.
However, a piece of LifeStraw® comes with a price as there are materials and labor which has to be compensated for its production. It is a cost that is needed to continue the production of such and would have to be considered by people using it and those who are advocating for clean water. It would be confiscatory in nature to require the maker of LifeStraw® to continuously produce the said product without being paid. The cost for the production of such was pegged at $3—a cost that would be way below the benefits it could bring.
Being equipped with the knowledge of business ethics and being socially-aware and socially-responsible students and individuals, we would like to personally make our contributions in the purchase and distribution of such LifeStraw® for the poor and the vulnerable. The life of a LifeStraw® would last up to three years and this would already make a big difference in the lives of those who would be given the chance to own one.
We plan to purchase 200 pieces of LifeStraw® to be distributed to individuals and families. The organizations and agencies concerned would first have to be identified so as to organize the solicitation that would have to be released by our group. Groups would be identified in consideration of their financial capability and the interest they would have to express on this charity work they would be involved in.
After the groups have been identified, their contact numbers would have to be obtained through websites and public dictionaries and this would be used to ask them to receive the letter we have for them as well as the contact person. Letter would be sent out after confirmation from the agencies that they are interested in such endeavor. A formal letter is ready for mailing and the interested agencies would be briefed about the advantages the LifeStraw® will bring to the families and the good intention that our group has in engaging in such endeavor.
Further information dissemination or information drive through the use of media or the least costly means would have to be employed such as website postings. It is expected that with the information campaign, the organizations would be able to access the necessary information for the intentions of our group and further linkages be established.
Trust should also be established by providing personal networks and contact persons in each organization and would be highly appreciated by the group.
With the money collected, the group will purchase 200 pieces of LifeStraw® for distribution to the most vulnerable groups. This will be identified in cooperation with certain groups. It is also the plan of the group, as feasible, to ask for a thank you note from the families who have been blessed with the opportunity of owning a LifeStraw® that will be sent to the organizations who have helped us and to acknowledge the effort they have exerted on giving these families and individuals a better living condition. Otherwise, a simple thank you note would have to be given from the group stating our utmost gratitude for the given assistance.
The problem of unsafe drinking water would be ameliorated by the abovementioned steps that our group would like to take. However, it is still with much concern that someone or other individuals and groups would continuously exert the initiative to make the advocacy a continuous one until the targets of the governments and the UN would be reached.
Further collaboration with other organizations would have to be considered as the State is a good vehicle for continuing and providing social welfare services in cooperation with private entities and the civil society.
Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases. (2005). Preventing bacterial waterborne diseases. Retrieved April 15, 2008, from http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/waterbornediseases_t.htm.
LifeStraw® at a glance. Retrieved April 15, 2008, from http://www.vestergaard-frandsen.com/lifestraw.htm.
UN Department of Public Information. (2005). Access to safe water priority as UN marks beginning of international decade. Retrieved April 15, 2008, from http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/envdev829.doc.htm.