Clean water, hygiene and sanitation are part of the key elements to a better life for people of all ages and regions. In many countries, people do not have access to clean and safe water, and this causes a glitch in the system, making it hard for children to gain access to education, hardening poverty, and compromising the health of many, among other things. In this article, we will take a look at how water challenges affect many countries and regions and what steps we can take to ensure the provision of clean water for all.
Water Scarcity And How It Affects Everything Else
Part of the UN’s sustainable development goals is ‘Clean Water & Sanitation’ (Goal 6). Rivers and surface waters may get contaminated when temperatures rise, making the water unsafe to drink. Higher temperatures favour algal blooms, which produce toxins and infections that can harm the liver and brain system. These poisons and pathogens contaminate the water and can spread illnesses like diarrhoea. Additionally, the consequences are cyclical since algal blooms absorb sunlight, warming the water further and encouraging additional blooms.
The lack of clean water and sanitation also creates an even bigger poverty problem. Many communities struggle with access to basic nutrition as it is, and being unable to get clean water to cook and wash food makes it difficult for many people to eat even the food they plant. Droughts also affect the growing and farming of food, and this with no water means there is absolutely no sustainable way to produce food.
Due to poverty and lack of water, many children cannot go to school, and for young girls, this is worse because when their menstrual periods come, sanitation is a scarcity they feel even more. The stats of girls who miss school due to period poverty are alarming. The lack of resources already puts women and girls at a disadvantage due to gender inequality, and the lack of water and good sanitation compromises their ability to excel and drags the mission to equality and gender mainstreaming even further back.
How Can We Help?
Infrastructure development is probably the first big step many countries and regions need to take. This is because, through new and developed infrastructure, there will be access to clean water. Water cleaning should not be the responsibility of the people who are trying to access it but rather a basic need provided to them. It is, after all, a basic human right. Creating ways to give communities clean water will not only mitigate the water challenges but also lower unemployment, increase the chances of children going to school, give healthcare facilities functioning tools and make any community run smoothly and efficiently.
The government, public and private sector companies all need to come together to create infrastructure development plans and processes that will also come with accountability from each person because part of Africa’s biggest problem is incomplete infrastructure. We have to employ people that will audit and hold companies and stakeholders accountable for every action as the lives and livelihoods of many depend on the completion of these projects.
We Need To Stay Prepared For The Unfortunate
Climate change affects us in a major way and is one of the contributing factors to natural disasters. While we cannot prevent natural disasters, we can create infrastructures and plans to ensure that regions are well prepared should such happen. This will mean we need to build sustainable infrastructure that will work to manage these disasters, floods and manage communities during drought season. Waterworks is not just a justice to communities but a great investment to the people who are creating ways to provide clean and safe water.
Health may not be the only sector that will benefit from clean and safe water, but it is one of the factors that are incredibly important as children are more vulnerable to dirty and contaminated water. This hinders their education and affects the future of the communities and countries they live in. To retain lives and provide livelihoods, we need to start with providing clean water, hygiene and sanitation for all. The future truly relies on it.