From Kate Fogelberg and Matt Santo
Link to Blog –http://www.waterforpeople.org/runtoendtheruns
Running for water is in. A gaggle of celebrities just climbed Kilimanjaro to promote awareness of the clean water crisis. This April, in hundreds of cities around the world, runners will take to the streets for 10 km-the average distance a woman walks to collect water from a dirty source-to raise money and awareness of the water crisis. Nobody runs for toilets. I bet every person reading this has had the runs at some point in their lives. But with some rehydrating electrolyte drink and a comfortable private toilet, what kills kids overseas is reduced to an uncomfortable afternoon for the rest of us.
The statistics are too overwhelming to comprehend-2.6 billion people shit in the open, the crowded city streets, or a toilet that is about to collapse. Lack of sanitation-a private, comfortable, sturdy place-to take care of number one and number two-results in 2 million people dying each year. Girls literally drop out of school when they start menstruating if there is no safe place to take care of their sanitary needs. Being a snake-hater myself, I cannot imagine the daily realities of women from Mozambique to Venezuela who risk snakebite just trying to take care of business. On the flip side, the presence of a toilet, can reduce the runs by up to 35%-which is higher than any water investment alone. It’s actually quite simple-keeping poop out of drinking water sources by building toilets or keeping it off the floor where toddlers play, means less people running to nowhere when they’ve got to go. So Matt and I are going to take 2010 and Run to End the Runs. We’re running for toilets. Not sexy, not hip, but needed.
We will run a marathon, the equivalent of a marathon, or longer every month from April 2010 to December 2010, some months doubling up so that we hit 12 marathons for the year. Water For People is doing amazing work with small toilet businesses- a “pee-conomic recovery” of sorts. Supporting small toilet businesses creates jobs and ensures that long after a single project ends, households wanting toilets can find a local entrepreneur to provide one.
Come join us for a Run to the End the Runs. Tell your Facebook and Twitter friends about it. Support Water For People. Start talking about poop or keep talking about poop. If nothing else, next time you’re using your private, comfortable toilet, think for just a moment what your life would be without it. Let’s stop the runs….forever!