WASH, or Water, Sanitation and Hygiene are three things that are fundamental to a clean and healthy life style.
Every human being, irrespective of whether he’s young or old, rich or poor, needs water to stay alive. They need it to stay hydrated, they need it to clean themselves, they need it for sanitary purposes and they need it for a hundred other reasons. In short, water is an irreplaceable and scarce resource that fulfils many important functions that are significant for our wellbeing on this planet.
Here we have listed out five things you need to know about water and sanitation:
1: WATER IS A SCARCE RESOURCE:
Water scarcity is an issue that is globally known and discussed and yet often ignored. Clean water and sanitation are some of the simplest things of life that we take for granted every day. We use extravagant amounts of water for baths, cooking, cleaning and much more. And when we aren’t overusing water, we’re polluting it. Polluting of our water bodies contributes greatly towards scarcity of water and making it unfit for use.
2: WATER AND SANITATION ARE FUNDAMENTAL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:
Sustainable development is solely dependent on the present generation preserving or conserving resources for the generations to come. If we continue to abuse water usage, there will be nothing left for our future generations. Water and sanitation are fundamental for the realisation of all our developmental goals and agendas and without it, countries and often entire economies suffer.
3: APPROXIMATELY 1.1 BILLION PEOPLE LACK ACCESS TO SAFE WATER AND AROUND 2.4 BILLION PEOPLE LACK ACCESS TO ADEQUATE SANITATION:
Because of the few groups of people who do have access to water ending up either over using it, wasting it or polluting it, almost 1 in 7 people in the world do not have access to it. Lack of sanitary services means open defecation. Faeces thus left in the open will seep into water bodies and contaminate them.
In rural areas, the girls are often affected worst because of the lack of clean water and sanitation and in the absence of the same at schools, often end up dropping out because of the stigma attached to periods.
4: THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY UNSAFE WATER IS EXTENSIVE:
Use of unsafe water leads to a lot of catastrophic problems. Mosquitos that breed in stagnant, dirty water cause malaria, of which thousands of people die every year. Around 12 million people are affected by typhoid, caused by the presence of bacteria in dirty water. Diarrhoeal diseases, Schistosomiasis, Intestinal helminths etc. are other diseases caused by unsafe water.
5: PROGRESS IS BEING MADE:
In today’s day and time, despite water scarcity still remaining an extremely grave issue, progress is being made. Around 2.6 million people have gained access to clean water since 1990 and today almost 91 per cent of the population uses clean water, as opposed to the 76 per cent in 1990.
The progress with sanitation has however, been slower, with around 2.4 billion people still not having access to better sanitary facilities and around 1 billion not making use of any sanitary facility at all. Though unsatisfactory, process with sanitation IS slowly being made, with more and more people being made aware of hygiene and sanitation every day.