Malamalama Travels | 2100 Million people do not have access to safe drinking water. World Water Day
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2100 Million people do not have access to safe drinking water. World Water Day

Access to safe drinking water is an exponential improvement in people’s lives. Improves social well-being, health and reduces poverty. It also increases opportunities for education and employment, contributing significantly to the development of the most backward communities.

The lack of clean water is one of the biggest brakes on development in many countries. 2.1 billion people lack what is an “essential human right” according to the United Nations. Children are one of the sectors most affected by this problem: 1 in 4 primary schools in the world lack drinking water and 700 children under 5 die daily from diarrhoea from water-related problems. Some 4 billion people suffer from severe water shortages for at least one month a year and some 700 million will be forced to emigrate due to shortages by 2030.

Today, March 22, it was declared in 1993 World Water Day by the United Nations, to raise awareness of the dramatic effects of water scarcity. Used to opening a faucet and getting water out, we are not familiar with these problems, but for half the population it is a very real concern. This year, the United Nations has submitted a report entitled Leaving No One Behind, which you can download here. It analyses the inequalities that exist in the world in terms of access to water and proposes some interesting solutions to overcome them.

Gilbert F. Houngbo is the President of UN Water, the UN agency for coordinating freshwater and sanitation initiatives, Objective 6 of the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Plan. In the presentation of the report it said: “The numbers speak for themselves. As the report shows, if the degradation of the natural environment and unsustainable pressure on global water resources continue at the current pace, 45 of the world’s gross domestic product and 40 thy cereal production will be at risk by 2050. Poor and marginalized populations are disproportionately affected, further exacerbating growing inequalities … the 2019 report provides evidence of the need to adapt approaches, both in politics and practice, to address causes of exclusion and inequality”

 

Apart from global policies and obvious water-saving measures, there are other options to contribute our grain of sand in this cause. In Malamalama we work with Waves 4 Water, an NGO whose goal is to deliver water filters to the communities most in need. The original part of their approach is what they call “guerrilla humanism”, orienting themselves to the continuous and decentralized action of many individuals, rather than the great actions of other NGOs. The idea is this: you organize a fundraiser through their page, they send you water-treatment filters for the amount raised and you take it on your trip and deliver it directly to the community. If you want to collaborate with our current project for Nepal you can do it HERE.

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