|Tap Project taps restaurant patrons for clean water|
Restaurant patrons in 16 U.S. cities are invited
during World Water Week to donate $1 for each glass of water to help
UNICEF provide safe drinking water to people around the world. A UMNS
photo illustration by Ronny Perry.
A UMNS Report
By Kathy L. Gilbert*
March 19, 2008
Pay $1 for a glass of tap water in some U.S. restaurants during World
Water Week and provide clean, safe water for a child for 40 days.
Inadequate access to clean drinking water is the second largest
killer of children under age 5, according to UNICEF, sponsor of the Tap
Project, a campaign to raise money to confront the growing global water
Launched last year in New York City, nearly 300 restaurants invited
diners to pay $1 for the tap water that they normally enjoy for free.
The revenues were donated to UNICEF programs improving drinking water
for children around the world.
During the week of March 15-22, the 2008 Tap Project is expanding to
involve more than 1,000 restaurants in 16 cities: Atlanta, Boston,
Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York,
Portland, Ore., Richmond, Va., San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and, in
South Carolina, Charleston, Columbia and Greenville.
A server in a New York City restaurant pours a glass during Tap Water 2007. A UMNS Web-only photo by David Heithold, UNICEF.
The United Methodist Board of Church and Society, the church's social
action agency, is collaborating with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for the
2008 Tap Project. Currently, UNICEF provides access to safe water and
sanitation facilities while promoting safe hygiene practices in more
than 90 countries. By 2015, UNICEF's goal is to reduce the number of
people without safe water and basic sanitation by 50 percent.
The U.N. General Assembly started World Water Day in 1992 to draw
attention to the plight of people without access to safe drinking water.
Approximately one in six people worldwide lack access to improved water
supply, the United Nations reports.
This year's observance is scheduled for March 22 under the theme of
the "Year of Sanitation." The goal is to accelerate progress for 2.6
billion people worldwide without proper sanitation facilities.
Clean water for all
While water is the most basic element on earth, more than 1.4 million
children around the world die from diseases related to poor water
quality or access to sanitation each year, according to UNICEF. The
problem also affects developing nations.
"Forty-four states in the U.S. have issued advisories warning
residents to reduce or avoid consumption of fish caught in lakes and
streams because of high levels of toxic mercury," said John Hill,
director of economic and environmental justice for the Board of Church
The United Methodist Church, in its Book of Resolutions and Social Principles, affirms that "water is a basic human right to be shared and enjoyed by all God's people."
"Water is an integral part of God's radical expression of God's love
to all humanity," states Resolution 13. "Water cannot be monopolized or
privatized. It is to be shared like air, light and earth. It is God's
elemental provision for survival for all God's children together on this
*Gilbert is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in
Nashville, Tenn. Information for this report was provided by Joe Kim,
program associate, United Nations Office, United Methodist Board of
Church and Society.
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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