Water security, here and globally, is key to fighting COVID-19

Water security, here and globally, is key to fighting COVID-19

From parents juggling working and raising kids full-time to local businesses trying to make payroll and cover expenses during shutdowns, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all in different ways. 

Across the globe, COVID-19 has had a greater impact in those countries where water security continues to be an issue. According to the United Nations, one in three people on Earth do not have access to safe drinking water. Research from the University of Waterloo’s Water Institute tells us that “1.8 billion people use an unimproved source of drinking water with no protection against contamination[…]”. Even more pressing during this pandemic is that two out of five people do not even have access to a basic hand-washing facility with soap and water. While masks, new directional signage, and reduced capacity in offices are great ways to prevent the spread of diseases–including the coronavirus–washing our hands is still the best way to stop COVID-19 in its tracks.

Water security isn’t just a developing-world problem. Here in Waterloo Region, many of our neighbours have difficulty accessing clean drinking water. “With the temporary closure of free public water stations due to COVID-19, coupled with the extreme heat, many people in our region are struggling to access a basic necessity–water,” said Wendi Campbell, CEO of The Food Bank of Waterloo Region

To address this issue, the David Johnston R+T Park and The Food Bank of Waterloo Region have partnered to raise donations to purchase 4,000 reusable bottles for those in need in our community. “Access to clean water is a basic human right, but it’s one that isn’t realized by many around the world, here in Canada, and right here in Waterloo, “ said Mike Pereira, Manager, R+T Park. “I’m proud that R+T Park and our tenants can support The Food Bank of Waterloo Region in making a difference in our community.”

“This initiative will help ensure the most vulnerable in our community can access fresh, safe drinking water,” said Campbell. The Food Bank of Waterloo Region has stepped up the growing challenges facing at-risk members of our community. Since March of this year, there has been a 50% increase in new households accessing good assistance. In 2019, The Food Bank delivered over 1,500 meals each day across Waterloo Region.

Here’s how you can help. We’re calling on all our partners and tenants in the R+T Park and across our community to donate any amount you can. Every dollar goes towards our goal of raising $4,000 to purchase the reusable bottles.

Visit our campaign page here to learn more and make a donation.