Speaking of human rights, did you know that access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a human right, yet billions are still faced with daily challenges accessing even the most basic of services?
Around 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water that is fecally-contaminated. Some 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines. Water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the global population and is projected to rise. More than 80 per cent of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea without any treatment, leading to pollution.
I hope you are aware that there exists an institution responsible for ensuring you access safe water sources and sanitation.
You must know that water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of the global population and is projected to rise.
Water and sanitation-related diseases remain among the major causes of death in children under five. Did you know this?
Have you heard of something called “diarrhea”? Do you know how many children and adults die from complications that arise out of poor sanitation?
As the United Nations further says,
“Proper water and sanitation is a key foundation for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including good health and gender equality”.
By managing our water sustainably, we are also able to better manage our production of food and energy and contribute to decent work and economic growth. Moreover, we can preserve our water ecosystems, their biodiversity, and take action on climate change.
Here’s what it will cost to alleviate this challenge….
A study by the World Bank Group, UNICEF and the World Health Organization estimates that extending basic water and sanitation services to the unserved would cost US$28.4 billion per year from 2015 to 2030, or 0.10 per cent of the global product of the 140 countries included in its study. Quite expensive, isn’t it?
If we don’t make this right, here’s what we stand to lose….
Worldwide, more than 2 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases. This is a fact!!!
Secondly, poor hygiene and unsafe water are responsible for nearly 90 per cent of these deaths and mostly affect children and more.
The economic impact of not investing in water and sanitation costs 4.3 per cent of the entire sub-Saharan African Gross Domestic Product. The World Bank estimates that 6.4 per cent of India’s Gross Domestic Product is lost due to much more complicated economic impacts and costs of inadequate sanitation.
Without better infrastructure and management, millions of people will continue to die every year and there will be further losses in biodiversity and ecosystem resilience, undermining prosperity and efforts towards a more sustainable future.
Here are some suggestions unto what we can do….
Civil society organizations should work to keep governments accountable, invest in water research and development, and promote the inclusion of women, youth and indigenous communities in water resources governance.
Generating awareness of these roles and turning them into action will lead to win-win results and increased sustainability and integrity for both human and ecological systems.
You can also get involved in the World Water Day and World Toilet Day campaigns that aim to provide information and inspiration to take action on hygiene issues.
Let’s do this…