Basic Information on Water and Sanitation Issues

This post originially appeared in www.learnaboutpoverty.org – another blogging project I’m involved in with the folks from World Vision Australia. To see the original post in all of it’s glory, please go here. 

One of the biggest issues facing countries struggling with endemic poverty is the states of their water sources. In many countries, such as in Iraq and Zimbabwe, many people lack basic access to water and sanitation infrastructure. This week, Pay Drechsel from the International Water Management Institute (IMWI) guest posted at the Google.org blog about the issues facing communities using polluted irrigation water. He posted a video (below) which describes the problem very well which is well worth a watch.

According to the World Health Organisations Guidelines for the Safe Use of Water and Excreta and Grey Water, sufficient achievement of the Millenium Development Goals 1 (Eliminate extreme poverty and hunger) and 7 (ensure environmental sustainability) require the use of water. It then goes on to stress that despite the desperate need, use of water should be done safely so as not to endanger human life.

A farmer moulds his irrigation channels

This is why we like Pays’ video and thoughts posted on goolge.org – because they take in to account that in developing countries things we take for granted (such as money for capital works, infrastructure such as aqua-ducts and dams and organisational bodies to manage our water) often don’t exist.

Thus, we thought the following list may prove useful for you.

Key Information when thinking about Water and Sanitation

  1. Water is required for agriculture and development of sustainable economies in developing countries.
  2. Often, however, this water will be mixed with excreta, grey water and various other detrimental matter.
  3. Roughly three quaters of the worlds countries only 10% of the population are connected to sewerage systems, making capital investment in creating an integrated system incredibly expensive and unrealistic for many communities.
  4. However, with good community engagement and support, practices can be put into place to lower the amount of water born diseas present in agricultural water at low cost.
  5. The leading cause of disease, despite the poor health of many communities water pipeline, is still born in the preparation of food.

One thought on “Basic Information on Water and Sanitation Issues”

  1. Just a quick note – do make sure you watch the video mentioned above.

    Truly, another perspective on water use in a different coutnry.

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