Does laundry-washing with and urinating into the water you drink from sound disgusting? That is the daily reality in many countries in the world.
Some of the worrying statistics are:
- Each year, diarrhoea kills around 760,000 children under five years old*
- Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war***
- In developing countries, children under three experience on average three episodes of diarrhoea every year*
With a lack of clean water and basic sanitation, diseases become rampant and infant mortality rates increase. In addition, women and children are most vulnerable to this problem. They bear the chore of water collection, often trekking miles to the nearest water source. For example, Africans spend 40 billion hours each year just walking for water**. Children also are unable to attend school due to illness or water collection duties. Females are also at risk of being harassed and sexually assaulted.
Hence, encouraging existing good habits, promoting new practices, and changing key behaviour through education will achieve the goals that are consistent with ours’. After all, access to clean water is a basic human right, regardless of economic or geographical circumstances.
In China, the drought had dried up a school’s water cellar, so there is no water supply for students. Mei-hua would then carry three kg of water for about two hours each time. World Vision then laid water pipes and located clean water sources within the County, to provide steady tap water for students staying in schools. Because of that, Mei-hua no longer needs to carry water to school from home.
* WHO, 2013
**Stanford Engineering, 2012
*** The Express Tribune, 2013