Clean water is a human right

As World Water Day is observed this month (March 22)billions of people around the world do not have access to a basic human right – clean, safe drinking water.

Children walking by sewerage.
Children walking by sewerage.

More than 2.5 billion people are in need of decent sanitation and nearly one in 10 has yet to gain access to “improved” drinking water, as defined under the UN’s 2015 development goals.

Millions of Zimbabweans face a daily struggle to access clean water, both in rural and urban areas. In recent years Harare has been the epicenter of two of the worst cases of water-borne epidemics, Cholera and more recently Typhoid. The water systems are in a total state of disrepair with no funds available for maintenance or purchase of chemicals.

Millions is owed in revenue, compounded by the critical energy shortages. If not addressed urgently this humanitarian crisis could escalate into a national disaster. Most residents rely on water from boreholes placing increasing pressure on ground water resources.

The lack of clean water places particular pressure on the many people living with HIV/AIDS. Sufferers already have a compromised immune system and are more susceptible to opportunistic diseases like diarrhea.

Essential needs such as clean water for taking daily medication can be the difference between life and death.

As civil society, we have to take responsibility for our water resources and become more ‘water wise’.

Given that access to clean and safe drinking water is a fundamental right for every person, we implore all the relevant parties to ensure that there is safe and clean drinking water as it is a central service that promotes the right to life with dignity. –

Post published in: Environment

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