Clean Water and Sanitation

Clean Water and sanitation are one our most effective ways of ending poverty. They are second and fifth on our list of most cost effective solutions to end poverty.

The Need

People in developing countries often lack clean water sources, don't know enough about hygiene and lack sanitation. There is often no water at all for several miles and often this water is dirty and contaminated with parasites. The ill health effects which come from dirty can cause diarrhoea, stomach cramps, malnutrition and weaken defences against the crucial malaria and HIV/AIDS illnesses which are prominent in the region. Typhoid, cholera, and dysentery and guinea worm are other examples of illnesses. These illness not only stop people working, going to school and causing pain but they kill many more young children before the age of 5 than happens in the developed world. They also kill people younger so children are left without parents and people in work die off leaving projects unfinished, and expertise gaps.

Furthermore people don't go to school because they spend their days fetching water, women don't have an equal lifestyle to men for the same reason causing gender inequality which itself is a key issue for example because women arn't as effective at promoting family planning, contraception, and reading as they would be if they had more say in matters. Teachers don't come to schools because there is no sanitation and water, and girls don't come to school as much because there is not the dignity of having a lavatory.

Clean water and sanitation

  1. Improves nutrition – clean water and sanitation stop parasites and common infectious diseases which compete for food enabling a huge reduction in illness which enables increases in the economy through more people being able to work, skilled people not dying half way through important structural projects like road building. It means parents can live longer to pass on technological skills such as farming skills to their children, it means parents don’t die leaving children to look after the family. It means people are well enough to go to school. Malnutrition causes 64% of illness worldwide so it is a huge problem and a huge problem you can tackle if you support improved water and sanitation projects.
  2. Reduces mortality rates and enhances peoples lives – by reducing water related diseases you can help save lives and provide people with one of the most fundamental human rights.
  3. Offers economic benefits – health related costs avoided by providing clean water and sanitation amount to $7.3 billion per year. Time savings amount to $64 billion from reducing things like the time it takes to collect water every day which can be many hours for children and women.
  4. Is both cost effective and sustainable – water and sanitation top the list of the most cost effective interventions because it costs only £25 to provide clean water to a family of four for life!
  5. Is community focused – the communities are directly involved in the development process bringing people together and helping them work and support each other giving women in particular more equal responsibility and power as men.
  6. Helps the Millennium Development Goals – which are the international goals to try and reduce poverty drastically by 2015. They are a set of known strategies for reducing poverty which you can support if you donate to this program. The governments are falling behind, but you can help.

Millennium Development Goals

Water and sanitation contribute to at least 5 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals. The goals and how water and sanitation help achieve them is shown below.

  1. End Hunger – By reducing the number of parasites in the body, clean water and sanitation significantly improve nutritional intake. Nutritional status is the defining measure of hunger worldwide. By improving nutrition, we start to end hunger. Water and sanitation really help end world hunger.
  2. Universal Education – By reducing the need for children to spend hours fetching water, children can attend school. Also girls are encouraged to go to school because of the available of toilet facilities. Water and sanitation really help end improve education.
  3. Gender Equality - is improved because women have responsibility, control and status over the Water Wells and so gain more say in the community
  4. Child Health – is improved because the nutritional health of the children is improved, and nutrition is a key factor in the healthy development of children under five.
  5. Maternal Health – Maternal health is also improved through the nutrition of the mother. The mother who is healthy produces a healthier offspring.