The Missing Element in the Fight Against Ebola | Commentary

In the impoverished areas of West Africa hit with Ebola, clean water is a luxury. When family and community members come in contact with an infected person, or the deceased, they risk deadly infection simply because they cannot adequately wash their hands.

Clean water is vital for disease prevention, containment and treatment. Ebola is the most recent reminder of how the lack of safe water and sanitation undercuts vital global health and development work: from curtailing malaria and under-nutrition to keeping girls in school and women safe.

In 2014, 748 million people around the world are forced to rely on unsafe water sources, and 2.5 billion live without sanitation. Congress must pass the Water for the World Act, level-funded legislation that targets regions in greatest need. One hundred and four bipartisan House members have signed on in support, but the bill has been tabled time and again. It finally looks like that will change this session. It’s time to “let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Rev. Jennifer Crumpton is an author and journalist in New York City, and a minister affiliated with Park Avenue Christian Church.

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