Global Activism: WGN's Randi Belisomo travels to Haiti in memory of her late husband

October 13, 2011

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(Getty/Andrew Winning)
Globally, water-borne illnessses claim more lives than all wars in the world combined.

Every Thursday on Global Activism, we hear from a Chicagoan who works to make the world a better place. Today, we focus on two individuals steeped in the world’s water crisis.

Water plays a central role in global poverty. Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease. When an individual takes a five-minute shower, he or she uses more clean water than a typical person in a slum uses in a day. Access to sanitation is so underdeveloped that more people in the world own cell phones than have access to a toilet.

No event in our hemisphere put the water crisis front and center more than last year’s cataclysmic earthquake in Haiti. The tragedy also highlighted one central truth of the global water crisis: the problem is an issue of access, not scarcity.

Today we meet Michael Mantel, president & CEO of Living Water International, an organization that implements water solutions in 25 developing countries. We also speak to Randi Belisomo, a reporter for WGN-TV who just returned from a reporting trip with LWI in Haiti. While in the earthquake-ravaged country, Randi visited a memorial well built in honor of her late husband, Chicago reporter Carlos Hernandez Gomez. She will chronicle her trip all next week on WGN’s News at Nine.

Michael and Randi join us to discuss water, both as a solution and central problem, in international development.

You can read Randi’s blog posts from Haiti here.

We invite listeners to suggest locals who we should feature include in Global Activism. Special thanks to Megan Moriarity for suggesting Living Water International.