Clean water and sanitation is an initiative aimed at meeting the needs of water for human consumption.
With this objective of clean water and sanitation, it is intended to improve the health of the entire population by accessing water for personal consumption (cooking, drinking and hygiene). To achieve this, its purity must comply with the microbial quality established by the World Health Organization (WHO). And that is enough. This is 20 liters per person, per day.
On the other hand, this objective also aims to achieve an appropriate connection so that wastewater is managed through latrines, septic systems (pits or drainage), treatment systems, etc.
This objective is part of the Sustainable Development agenda (SDG) pursued by the United Nations Development Program. And it is scheduled to achieve its fulfillment in the year 2030.
Causes of lack of clean water and sanitation
In various regions of the planet there are communities that lack the vital liquid and it is largely due to:
- Droughts due to a trend of erosion and desertification in some regions.
- Open defecation that pollutes water.
- Lack of river water treatment that could be used for human consumption.
- River water that falls on sewage dumps, which are in the open air or in sewers. That in addition to polluting rainwater, they cause flooding which, in turn, causes a total lack of water control and management.
- To the extent that housing constructions have increased in certain areas; a notable loss of humid areas is observed.
- Lack of planning in urban constructions with which there is a loss of trees that retain moisture.
Importance of clean water and sanitation
The achievement of this objective will trigger the achievement of other objectives proposed as part of the United Nations Development Program. For example, Zero Hunger, End Poverty, Health and Well-being, Quality Education, etc. Since it is a necessary condition for its achievement to have access to clean water and sanitation.
In addition to the above, improving access to clean water sources entails economic benefits for the countries. This is because by having better living conditions there will be better opportunities to enter the labor market.
Likewise, there will be greater prevention of diseases, associated with infections due to lack of personal hygiene in the communities.
Actions so that the entire world population has access to clean water and sanitation
Given the importance of access to clean water and sanitation for the entire population, Governments and international organizations are interested in achieving this objective and for this it is necessary:
- Invest in the necessary infrastructure to provide access to clean water to the entire population, as well as wastewater management.
- Provide information that promotes better hygiene practices for the entire population.
- Maintain aid and increase it so that the entire population can access water of the quality established by the WHO.
- Avoid defecation in the open air of vulnerable populations, since it contaminates and affects the hygiene of other inhabitants.
- Address the needs of women and girls in vulnerable situations.
- Avoid through regulatory policies and a greater coercive effect for companies that contaminate water with hazardous chemicals and heavy materials.
- Regulate the experiments that the students carry out, as part of their school projects and that pollute the water.
- Increase and finance the recycling of water without representing a risk to the population. This, by supporting environmentally friendly scientific and technological discoveries.
- Establish international agreements to ensure cooperation across borders, regarding the use of water for human consumption.
- Conserve and protect geographic areas that contain pure water such as rivers, underground aquifers, mountains, springs, lakes, etc.
- Provide vulnerable communities with information that allows them to know the efficient way to use water for human consumption and wastewater.
- Monitoring of international commitments on the issue of ensuring access to clean water and sanitation.