Blog Action Day was born in 2007, following the initiatives of founders Collis and Cyan Taeed. The idea was to subscribe a substantial number of bloggers from all four corners of the globe in an online interaction about current environmental issues. The event was a phenomenal success, as the world witnessed a concretisation of projects and exchanges of innovative ideas. Since then, in celebration of Blog Action Day, the blogging community dedicated a day to raise awareness on environmental issues. This year's chosen theme is "water"Â. As a result, on the 15th of October 2010, bloggers from all over the world will leave their prints in the virtual world in the hope of bringing change to the bitter reality. They will each publish one article, the same day, on one topic. http://blogactionday.change.org/why-water aims to allow the international community to partake through conversations, debates, advices, projects and actions.
We are all aware that water is an essential component of humanity and our planet's survival. It is essential in ensuring an adequate standard of living. Unfortunately we pay minimal attention to it. Yet without water, we would be lost, unable to survive. Its role has long been neglected; in fact we have lost 50% of wetlands over the past century. Furthermore between 1991 and 2000, more than 665,000 were victims of natural disasters, of which 90% were events related to water . Sat in our cosy and comfortable homes with easy access to clean water, we tend to forget about the 10 000 persons per day who die of preventable diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.
Nonetheless, on this day, we the blogging community have taken upon ourselves the responsibility to reiterate to the World the existence of significant issues surrounding water, these are not myths they are a reality. All conscious that water is essential to life, we have dedicated this day to unite our strength in the ultimate aim of bringing change to the current situation. The crude fact is that humanity's survival depends upon the access to water; we the people cannot live adequately if safe water is not accessible in addition, our planet will continue to suffer as a result of the lack of it. Last year, last month, last week, yesterday and today a staggering 900 million individuals do not have access to clean water. Will it be different tomorrow? Certainly not, change takes time and effort; but step by step, hand in hand this number will eventually decrease.
A mystical country, located in East Africa is the World's fourth biggest island: Madagascar. Secluded in the Indian Ocean, it hosts an astonishing number of mysterious and endemic species of fauna and flora. Just a few weeks ago a new species of spider, the Darwin's bark spider (Caerostris darwini) was discovered. It can build a web of up to 25m in order to go from one side of a river to another in search of food. This year's second discovery was of a peculiar carnivore, the Salanoia durrelli named in honour of the late conservationist and writer Gerald Durrell. Sadly, Madagascar's biodiversity is increasingly threatened as a result of continuing deforestation due to local practices. In addition, difficulty persists when reforestation projects are also at risk of failure because there is no access to water. Its population, also faces constant challenges due to the lack of water, in fact, 86% of the rural population have no access to water compared to 44% of the urban population.
Privileged with this opportunity to participate in Blog Action Day, NGO Vakanala or "Pearls of Forests" did not hesitate to share its visions and projects within its field of expertise. The NGO is based in Madagascar, a third world country constantly exposed with social and economical struggles. NGO Vakanaa has drafted and carried out reforestation, conservation, awareness and social projects, mainly in the Ihorombe region, in the rural district of Ihosy, C/R Menamaty-Iloto, South Western region of the country. Its ultimate goal is to preserve the last remnants of primary forests which once covered the island, as part of this process it also observed the necessity to partake in the fight for survival and development of the surrounding rural inhabitants. Along the process of preparation, and planning of its fieldwork, it concluded that none of its schemes could commence unless access to water was secured. Considerable aspects of these projects depend heavily on the ability to use water to provide for the irrigation of a tree nursery, for reforestation projects and water wells providing safe drinking water for the rural community.
So far, two issues relating to the access of water have been raised, one relating to environmental protection essential to preserve the water cycle. The second concerns the guarantee of an adequate quality of life, a duty owed to the every individual which was further emphasised since the right to water has become a humanitarian right. The equation is simple, by providing a water well in this village, we will ensure the survival of many families, the education of their children consequently contributing to the long-term development of the rural community. No more days sacrificed on long walks to collect unsafe water instead their effort will be devoted to employment and education. One of the NGO's founding members recounts one of the many stories she witnessed while visiting the field work location: a 4 year old girl who has to walk 2.5 miles twice a day to fetch water, dirty water from the Manambolo river.
Presented with the possibility to communicate our project, NGO Vakanala exposes before the World its desire to continue fulfilling its environmental and social projects. Regrettably the fulfilments of these projects depend on financial resources at hand. In a nutshell, we aim to start with the construction of water well in the rural district of Ranohira Menamaty-Iloto. The water will be used to irrigate a tree nursery and serve as a clean and safe water source for the village.
According to recent research and reports, the most compatible, less costly and long lasting type of water well is the drilling by means of jetting that can be well combined with a Canzee pump. Experts feel it is cost effective, durable (made of PVC, ABC and its metallic parts in stainless steel) and pragmatic since reparations are feasible and easy for the locals to carry out. In an all inclusive quote the price of one water well is estimated at 750 Euros, the water well is designed to be cost effective. NGO Vakanala having critically assessed the project in its practicality and financial aspects, feel this would be the best and most appropriate option for the village. We therefore call upon the blogging community and beyond to assist us in bringing changes to the lives of many in Ranohira Menamaty-Iloto region. The NGO has long been by extensively supported by crowd sourcing and funding.
We believe to save the present and succeeding generation from scourging social and environmental crisis, a collective unified effort is needed; we decided to start in our backyard, on a small scale in Madagascar, where we felt progress was indispensable. NGO Vakanala chose this day, this event to voice its concern, to present life changing projects, and to encourage international solidarity towards the island. Help mothers provide clean and safe water to their children, allow these children a chance to education, and the parents employment so that they can become economically active citizens contributing to economic development , finally assist us in protecting one of the most threatened ecosystem. We urge you to assist us in realising these projects, your contribution regardless of its size will undoubtedly bring the change they have been longing for.
Water for education, Water for employment, Water for biodiversity, Water is life. This is our message to the World.
With sincere concern and immense gratitude,
NGO VakanÃ¢Â€Â™Ala, Pearls of the Forest.
For more information, active participation, please visit our website: http://vakanala.org/en
All donations are welcomed at: http://vakanala.org/en/donate
Do not forget to check our water: charity page on http://blogactionday.change.org/