For Children in Crisis, Water Is Life

March 1, 2018

"I have three wishes," says 10-year-old Hiba, who moved with her family to a "skeleton building" without windows or doors in Homs, Syria after repeated shelling and bombing drove them from their home. "Firstly, I wish we never have to leave our house again because of the war. Secondly, I dream of becoming a teacher. And thirdly, I wish that all people get a chance to have clean water so they do not get germs and get sick."


The burden of providing water for families in crisis often falls to girls like Hiba. "When we first came, things were very tough on us," the fourth grader recalls. "I used to go fetch water in huge water containers. Sometimes they were very heavy and other times I was able to carry them." 


See Hiba tell her story here




For Hiba and other children forced from their homes by conflict, finding safe drinking water can be the difference between life and death. Waterborne diseases like diarrhea and cholera are a constant threat. Sanitation and hygiene are a daily challenge.


Girls and women around the world spend 200 million hours a day gathering water. That's 200 hours they can't devote to their education, their families or themselves. Want to help empower girls to change the world? Fix the Water Burden. Help UNICEF help girls and women around the world by providing easier access to safe water. 


Learn more about UNICEF's efforts to reach the poorest and most vulnerable with safe water today.






Follow 13-year-old Aysha and her camel on her daily eight-hour trip to collect water for her family in Afar, Ethiopia.


See how 12-year-old Rosemaine learned how to protect her family from cholera after her brother nearly died of the waterborne disease in Bresilienne, Haiti.