Globally, 71% of the population used a safely managed drinking-water service, located on premises, free from any contamination and available when needed. Now, you must be thinking that’s pretty great, but to put that into perspective, 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces.
The stark and wide-ranging differences between these two facts is the sad reality of the availability and quality of drinking water on the globe. Many within the developed world may think this does not affect them, however in New York, USA , 8.3 million were exposed to water contaminants in their drinking water, as well as a prediction that by 2025 at least half of the world’s population will be living in water stressed areas.
There is no doubt, that the lack of safe water facilities is much more prevalent in low-income countries however, and sharp geographic, sociocultural, and economical equalities are still evident when considering why. Children under 5 in these areas are the most affected by the inadequacy of clean water, which may start with the lack of basic nutrition and lead to problems with education and health care. It is within the least developed countries that 22% of health care facilities have no water service.
The importance of safe, usable water cannot be stressed enough. It is one of the most important and basic requirements for human health considering the human body is 60% water and the number one source of nutrition. In basic terms, without water there is no life in any form. Considering this, it is despicable that so many humans are still without this necessity all over the world.
Without safe water, many life forms and necessities perish. Humans need clean water to maintain proper body functions, prevent diseases and get rid of dangerous toxins, to water crops for agriculture and produce food and for adequate sanitation facilities. It is due to being without clean water that 485000 diarrhoeal deaths occur each year, due to diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and polio.
With organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the United Nations actively recognising the human right to water and sanitization, as well as calling for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water, it is evident that the importance of clean water cannot be stressed enough.
The added pressure of climate change, which will inevitably increase water scarcity alongside population growth, demographic changes and urbanisation already pose an increased threat to an over stretched water supply system in any country.
In some parts of the world insects also play a major part in infecting otherwise clean water, such as those that live or breed in water carrying and transmitting diseases such as Dengue Fever. This is a major blow to countries who may not be fully developed but have actively enforced measure to make water cleaner to use. Pakistan is such a country, however organisations and charities such as KORT are now taking up an active role in overcoming these issues.
Conclusively, it was a well-known myth that clean water issues only affected those within under-developed countries, however with added pressures in even the most developed of countries and global climate change, the lack of clean water and facilities to access and route water into our industries and hospitals will become a reality for all of the global population, unless we implement measures that will protect every single person’s human right to safe water.
To donate to causes like this please visit https://kort.org.uk/