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OCCC Reads 2015-2016: Water Matters: Chapter 6: The Burden of Thirst

This guide provides a range of resources to use for OCCC Reads 2015-2016.

Chapter Summary


This chapter shows the stark differences between the United States and Nigeria when it comes to water. The differences in obtaining water, water usage, and expectations of water are so great, it is startling. Students will hear the story of Aylito and how she spends 8 hours of her day fetching water, which is not even clean, for herself and her family. The unclean water is the source of their livelihood, while at the same time, the cause of recurring illness and disease. Aside from the possibility of the drought ending, which would only alleviate some of the problem, she finds it hard to imagine her situation improving.  Students who read this chapter will very quickly see what others on this planet face daily when it comes to clean and safe drinking water. Wrapping up, this chapter also describes a new, hopefully more sustainable, water project that just might change Aylito’s life by bringing clean water right into her village.

Why Use this Chapter?

Why Use this Chapter:

Why use this chapter? You can’t ask for a more direct and easy way to show students the vast differences in water access. If students haven’t thought about water issues before, they will after reading this.

  • Great for a Global Awareness lesson.
  • WaterAid, the organization discussed in this chapter, provides an alternative way of maintaining water projects in remote villages. This could provide a lesson to students pertaining to the importance of community involvement and well planned project management.
  • A graphic is provided that lays out the startling number of deaths caused by various waterborne diseases. Students could research a disease listed.
  • There is discussion in this chapter about water being provided by God, as well as issues seen in developing countries due to water privatization. Students could write a rhetorical essay about water rights.