5 Reasons to Put Down Your Phone

March 4, 2014

By

Claire Manibog

The UNICEF Tap Project is challenging you to put down your phone to help provide clean water to a child in need. Safe, clean drinking water is something most of us take for granted, but for 768 million people around the world, it's not. 

Access to clean water improves lives in more ways than you might think. Here's how: 

1. Clean water saves lives. Every day, 1,400 children under five die from diarrheal diseases that are directly linked to poor water, sanitation and hygiene.

2. Clean water saves time. In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking to collect water -- time that could be otherwise spent on other activities, like generating income. Two-thirds of that burden is borne by women.

3. Clean water saves money. The World Health Organization estimates that poor water and sanitation results in an estimated loss of $260 billion in developing countries.

4. Clean water keeps kids in school -- especially girls. Girls are more likely to attend school when there are private, decent sanitation facilities, and they don't have to fetch water. In Nepal, attendance went up by 30% for every hour that a girl didn't spend collecting water. 

5. Clean water keeps kids healthy. Undernutrition, worm infections and diseases like cholera, typhoid and polio are all associated with unsafe water and poor sanitation. They can result in reduced physical growth, fitness and impaired cognitive functions, especially for children under five. You can help give kids access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene by going without your phone. Try it out!

Take the challenge