Lenny Kravitz speaks for children in Africa

Rocker heart-throb Lenny Kravitz has begun a push to help save the lives of millions of poor children and their impoverished families by promoting access to clean water and good sanitation. His celebrity muscle has been enlisted by UNICEF and its partners through tweets and Facebook updates that say why clean water is a must.

“I was born in New York City and have always taken access to clean water as a given,” Kravitz says. “No child should die of diarrhoea from drinking dirty water. That thousands of children under the age of five continue to die every day because they lack clean water and basic sanitation is simply unacceptable.”

According to UNICEF, the world has met the Millennium Development Goal for drinking water, with 89 percent of the global population now having access.

The remaining 11 percent, or 780 million people, that do not have access to these necessities reside mainly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

To drive the point home and encourage governments and NGOs not to rest their laurels, the award winning musician will join in celebrations to mark World Water Day later this month – March 22 – and give out a global message on the importance of ensuring children have clean water and sanitation.

A statement from UNICEF that was sent to newsrooms read: “Since 1990, UNICEF, governments and partners, have helped over 2 billion people gain access to improved water sources and 1.8 billion people gain access to improved sanitation facilities. The efforts include drilling wells and installing water pumps, helping communities build latrines and teaching lifesaving hygiene to schoolchildren and mothers, and providing safe water and sanitation to communities during emergencies.”

Poor sanitation, water and hygiene have serious repercussions on a child’s health, UNICEF says often causing diarrhoea and other easily preventable diseases.

“Without safe water, sanitation, and good hygiene, sustainable development is difficult to achieve,” says the statement.

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