You have access to clean drinking water every day, but it's a far different story in developing countries around the world. What if someone bottled the dirty, disease-ridden water that kills 4,200 children every day and tried to sell it on the streets of New York? That's just what the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) did in order to raise awareness about water conservation and the disparity of clean water around the world.
For just $1, New Yorkers passing through Union Square Park had the option to purchase a bottle of Dirty Water from a professional, authentic-looking vending machine. Onlookers were startled by the variety of Dirty Water available, including bottles labeled Malaria, Yellow Fever, Dysentery and Hepatitis. These are just a small sample of the diseases 768 million people in developing countries are at risk for developing with every sip of the only water they have access to.
Members of UNICEF stood near the vending machine holding bottles of brown water with goopy, stringy who-knows-what floating around inside. Some passersby cringed or gawked at the appearance of the nasty water and just moved on. Others stopped long enough to take pictures of the oddity so they could share it with their friends. But many others stuck around to learn more about why anyone would try to sell water with tapeworms on the streets of New York City.
Of course, the real reason behind the Dirty Water campaign was to shock people with the realization that water conservation and poor water quality around the world are real issues. Along with raising awareness, UNICEF also raised funds for people living without clean water. UNICEF promised that every dollar donated would provide a child with 40 days of clean drinking water.
That's a campaign many New Yorkers could get behind! Many bought a bottle of Dirty Water from the vending machine by inserting a $1 bill they had in their pocket. Others who didn't have change but still wanted to donate were encouraged to text TAP to UNICEF (864233) and make a $5 donation, thus providing a child with clean drinking water for well over 6 months!
Nobody drank any Dirty Water from the vending machine, but many donated and helped make a difference in the lives of children in developing countries who deserve access to clean water every day. Doesn't everyone in this world have a right to such a basic necessity?
The Dirty Water campaign was just a small part of a much bigger, ongoing initiative called Tap Project. Through this project, UNICEF is helping to promote water conservation and provide clean water to children around the world.
Here's how it works: You sign into UNICEFTapProject.org from your cell phone and start a goal to not use your phone for as long as you can. For every 10-minute increment you don't touch your phone, you help provide a child with clean water for a day. Sound too good to be true? Check out UNICEF Tap Project for more information.
Then, to learn more ways you can improve water conservation efforts at home, contact Mr. Rooter®.