Essay Contest Winner: The Water Crisis

Before a water system was built by Seattle Nonprofit Water 1st, Mari walked four hours each day to collect water for her family from this small river. (Photo by Marla Smith-Nilson)
Ethiopia: before a water system was built by Seattle Nonprofit Water 1st, Mari walked four hours each day to collect water for her family from this small river. (Photo by Marla Smith-Nilson)

In our increasingly interconnected world, it is important to be informed of issues and events around the globe in order to better understand and engage with the people around us. If you were a foreign news correspondent, where would you like to be assigned? What story would you cover and why is this an important story to tell?

Imagine a long dirt road with several women and girls trudging along it, carrying heavy buckets on their heads. Their destination is a small, muddy pond, full of dirty, brownish water. They know it is a risk to drink this, but it is all they have to drink, so it’s not an option.

This is the capital city of Jakarta, Indonesia. If I were a foreign news correspondent, I would go to Jakarta.

Once I get to Jakarta, the way that I will gather information is to interview women and girls who collect the water and also interview the families that drink the water and ask how it tastes.

My first reason that I should go to Jakarta is that more than half their population lacks safe water to drink. Many people are dying from water related problems, and it is having the biggest impact on children. If children keep dying, then they won’t be able to have more children, and then the world’s population will keep going down. Also, did you know that every minute a child dies from a water-related disease?

My second reason that I should go to Jakarta is that over 41% of Jakarta´s population does not have a clean, reliable, or close water source. For example, most families have to walk several miles to reach their water source, and even when they get there it may still be dirty, contaminated, or unsafe.

My third reason that I should go to Jakarta is that women and girls collect most of the water for their families, and that takes up a lot of their time. For example, many girls have had to drop out of school to collect water for their families. In addition, they have to get up early in the morning to collect water, and much of their time that they spend collecting water could have spent sleeping, spending time with their families, or doing schoolwork.

In conclusion, having clean water is a very big deal. If you don´t have clean water, you will die. Many people in Jakarta are dying, so it is our job to find out what we can do to help. As a foreign news correspondent, I would go to Jakarta to inform the world about the water crisis that is happening.

This essay won first place in the 3rd to 5th grade category of the 2015 World Citizen Essay Contest, sponsored by The Seattle Globalist and the World Affairs Council. The winners will be recognized at a special event in Seattle Tuesday May 26th at 6:30pm. Read all the top essays »

1 Comment

  1. I never been to Jakarta, but I always dream about such a dangerous and unexpected trip. I think we must do something to help this people collect water or find some new ways to save it. I heard awful things about this country from my friends who visited Jakarta: 41 percent of population without clear water is just official data, the real situation is worse.

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