Speak Out: Water

May 21, 2016

Clean water, a human right?

Imagine, you turn on the faucet in the bathroom.  No water.  Same in the kitchen, no water.  You ask your neighbor, what’s happening?  No one has running water.  Now you need to go to the bathroom.  No water in the toilet to flush.  You want to wash your hands. You are thirsty.


SPEAK OUT is a new exhibit at the Leonardo Museum in Salt Lake City.  One is invited to sit down, select a handful of colored pencils, and begin coloring on the walls of the room—an enormous “coloring book” designed by local artists—while thinking as you listen to clips of speeches about human rights.

Human Rights

Of course we want the right to vote, to cast our ballot, the right for a fair and just trial, and the right to speak our opinion, the right to an education, to learn to read.  But even more basic is the right to breathe clean air and to drink clean water.  Over a billion people in our world do not have access to water.  They have no faucets to turn on, no toilets to flush, no hot showers.  They walk miles for water every day,  walking for water is mostly the work of women and girls.  That is their life.  No school.  No time to play, to create, to read.

Carrying water

Imagine this: Add up all the miles women and children in one country, South Africa, walk for water, every day, enough miles to walk to the moon sixteen times,

Sixteen times to the moon and back,

Every day, walking for water.

Speak Out.  Is water a human right?

Nancy Bo Flood

As a fish-brain surgeon or a rodeo poem wrangler, I have loved stories. I strongly believe that words – in poetry or prose – help heal our hearts and give us new eyes to see the world. I was first a research psychologist studying brain development at the University of Minnesota and London University before following my passion – writing for children. Learn more...