Belouga’s Global Student Council is back for it’s second cohort during the 2017-18 school year. The Student Council is made up of a group student leaders from around the world that have excelled in global education and collaboration. Each month, these students write blog posts covering a range of topics related to global education. It is a great way to receive feedback and give a voice to the Belouga experience from a student’s point of view. We will be sharing these posts and hope you feel inspired to join in with questions and conversation!
This month’s topic aligns with World Water Day on Thursday, March 22nd and tasks Student Council members to put themselves in the shoes of someone lacking clean water. How would their life be different? What are some ways we can focus on and protect our ecosystem to conserve water and provide it to those in need?
Life in a Parallel Universe
by Zainab, age 17 , from the United Arab Emirates
Living without access to clean water is beyond tasking – you can never anticipate what your day is going to be like. A day in my life is unpredictable, often disheartening and a difficult trial to overcome.
This morning I woke up before dawn as per the norm to get us some water before the day began. Today was my sister, Belle’s turn but she was far too sick, she’s developed cholera. The nearest well is about 3 miles north and sometimes if you don’t make it early enough, the lines get really long. And on the worst days, the water runs really low and it’s near to impossible to get anything out of it. There is a lake about a mile from us, but that’s usually just for when we have no luck with the well or just for emergencies and household use. The lake’s water is quite dirty and it’s often risky to get our water from there, but most times we have no choice. The water from the well is just enough for us to drink and can’t suffice for our cooking and cleaning needs.
My mother boils the water while cooking to kill off the bacteria, but on days we have poor weather and we can’t start a fire, we have to make do. I think that’s how Belle got ill, it must’ve been on one of our bad days. Living like this is an uphill battle but it has some good to it – my mind is always boggling with new ways to spread awareness about this and cheap, innovative inventions that might help break us out of this cycle.
If I lived in a flipped reality in a cosmopolitan city like Dubai where I’d never have to worry about something like this, my life would be so much easier. I could make much better use of my time, I think I could be a genius if I tried! I don’t think those privileged understand how important clean water really is. They have the liberty of leaving the tap on while brushing their teeth, taking bubble baths and splashing their face with ice cold water, yet here we are struggling to get enough clean water to even consume.
Even things like simple plastic water filters could revolutionize our lives. We’re not asking to be spoon fed or any hand me downs, we walk hours a day just to get water – be it clean, dirty, contaminated, insect-infested or worse. We’re willing to put in the hard work, but we just need a helping hand.