Everyone knows that water is essential to human life, but one third of the world’s population lacks sufficient access to safe drinking water and sanitation to meet their basic needs. [www.gwp.org]Every year 3 million people die prematurely from water-related diseases in developing countries. [www.gwp.org] 884 million people in the world still do not get their drinking-water from improved sources, almost all of them in developing regions. [www.gwp.org]How can access to clean water change the lives of people in the world? People are endeavoring to address this issue, such as helping people to build the water supply system, providing water and sanitation in schools, developing technologies to provide clean water and so on.
World Vision provided people who are living in the village in the Luang Prabang province in Laos with all the equipment, technical support and materials they needed to build the water supply system. In many countries, fetching and carrying water can be dangerous. It is not as simple as turning on a tap. But now, a new water supply system constructed in June 2006 is changing lives. Instead of having to cross a highway and hike up a forested mountainside to fetch water from a small spring, women and children only need to walk a few metres from their homes. [‘A path out of poverty’] Built by the villagers themselves, the water system consists of two water tanks. Twenty water taps are installed throughout the village serving clean water to 118 households – almost to their doorsteps. [‘A path out of poverty’]
UNICEF, the lead installed water and sanitation in schools. There are about one million schools around the world, but less than half have access to clean drinking water and sanitation. [www.globalwaterchallenge.org]Yet hand washing in schools can cut diarrhea by 30 percent. [www.thesolutionsjournal.com]While there is still a long way to go in providing water, sanitation, and hygiene-known as WASH-in all schools, more development agencies are paying attention.
UNICEF reports that the number of countries implementing WASH in school programs almost doubled between 2002 and 2008, from 47 to 88 countries. [www.thesolutionsjournal.com] In some villages in the Kisumu area of Kenya, pumps installed for schools have been made available to the rest of the community for a small fee, it raises enough money to cover operations and maintenance of the well, and also uniforms and books for AIDS orphans at the schools. [www.thesolutionsjournal.com]
It is necessary for developing technologies to provide clean water. Desalination is extracting the salt from seawater. But desalination plants are expensive to build and require lots of energy to operate, making desalination suitable mainly for seaside cities in rich countries. [www.engineeringchallenges.org]It therefore has limited value for impoverished countries, where water supply problems are most serious, though, it seems unlikely that desalination alone will be able to solve the world’s water problems.
Technologies are being developed, for instance, to improve recycling of wastewater and sewage treatment so that water can be used for not personal uses such as irrigation or industrial purposes, then recycled water could even resupply aquifers. [www.engineeringchallenges.org]Some current projects are striving to produce inexpensive distillation units that can remove contaminants from any water source. [www.engineeringchallenges.org]Such approaches will help to address the real problem of inequitable distribution of water resources.
In conclusion, access to clean water is a fundamental human right and essential to life, health and dignity. We needed in order to achieve sustainable clean water supply through concerted efforts by governments, corporations, foundations and nongovernmental organizations.
Get Connected, Issue Ⅰ – Water, March 2007, ‘A path out of poverty’
www.globalwaterchallenge.org/resources/detail.php?id=55 (Clean Start: Focusing on School Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene)
http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/node/1037(How Access to Clean Water
http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/cms/8996/9142.aspx(Provide access to clean water)
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