SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
SDG No. 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Access to clean water is lacking for 844 million people globally. For decades, lacking safe, easily available water, households, and neighborhoods have remained stuck in deprivation. Children go off school and parents are struggling to make a living. Women and children are worst affected — kids because they are more vulnerable to dirty water diseases and women and girls because they often bear the burden of carrying water for their families for an estimated 200 million hours a day.
Women and girls face the biggest responsibility because they are more likely to be responsible in the developed world for delivering water to their homes. We expend about 200 million hours of extracting water per day. The typical African woman marches 6 kilometers per day, bringing 40 pounds of water. This daily routine saps her strength for other things and robs her of the chance to spend this time with her children or to seek interests in education and income to better their lives. Girls attending school before puberty are more likely to drop out before they begin menstruating because they have safe water, latrines, sanitary products, and sanitation facilities at their colleges. Helping young people handle menstrual wellbeing is not only about having adequate services but also about raising societal expectations. In the developed world, lack of sanitation, safe water, and good hygiene at birth lead to high levels of illness and death among mothers and newborns. World Vision is expanding its drive to introduce more health centers with safe sanitation, latrines, and hand-washing services to ensure more efficient deliveries.
Healthy water and sanitation for women will minimize illness and mortality risk by up to twenty-five percent for babies and mothers. Women’s health, healthy exposure to water, and better nutrition save their life and their children’s lives, dramatically reducing maternal and baby deaths. Other issues, such as menstrual absenteeism and illness transmission in schools, are often important concerns that are mitigated by exposure to adequate sanitation.
According to United Nations, “In 2016, one-third of all primary schools lacked clean drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene services, impacting the education of millions of schoolchildren, most particularly menstruating girls, and one in four health care facilities across the world lacked basic water services, impacting over 2 billion citizens.”
According to FIGO, the International Association of Gynecologists and Obstetrics, “About eight percent of maternal deaths (and up to 15 percent in [low- and middle-income countries]) may be specifically attributed to unhygienic conditions at function and birth and inadequate postnatal hygiene.”
Secure access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are the most basic building blocks for empowering women everywhere. The three go hand in hand; to actually address women’s sanitation problem. At the most specific point, here is what it means for women to get sufficient sanitation:
1) A toilet with honesty
Creating and utilizing a common pit or pour-flush toilet removes individuals from feces, greatly minimizing neighborhoods and school diseases. It also provides women with comfort and privacy, providing them a place to go so they don’t have to wait till dark or reveal themselves in the daytime.
2) Hand-wash services
As every home develops a basic handwashing unit and starts using soap, it avoids the spread of disease. For women in rural communities who clean up after little ones, hand washing is vital to safety.
3) A healthy supply of water;
Clean water is vitally essential for sanitation. For that, it is difficult to scrub the toilets and dishes and it is unlikely to wash the hands properly. Furthermore, clean water nearby offers comfort for women and girls who are frequently charged with bringing heavy water from and to the source. It saves them money, which helps them to go to school and work.
4) A drying rack
Washing dishes and drying them in the light, away from wildlife, can avoid infectious bacteria from spreading. A dish drying rack made from local products improves hygiene for whole households.
5) Menstruation Hygiene Management (MHM) Training
Women and girls who feel guilty about menstrual cycles or who are unsure of the best to take care of themselves through their periods face tremendous difficulties. Settling the women’s wellbeing issue elsewhere requires shifting the menstrual story. Via Menstruation Hygiene Management Learning for girls in schools, women’s hygiene supplies available in schools, and menstrual hygiene training lessons for women in families, women and girls are comfortable and willing to handle this very natural, safe aspect of life.
Clean water access changes everything; it is a stepping-stone to growth. When people have access to safe water, they are better able to follow proper sanitation and hygiene. Children have healthy health and have a better chance of completing kindergarten. Parents set away their worries regarding water-related illnesses, and lack of safe water exposure. They will water crops and animals instead, and diversify their incomes. Communities no longer fight over waterhole protection.
Writer: Jehezkiel Axel Jordan
Lifewater. (2019). Sanitation for Women: The Problem and Solution. Retrieved from: https://lifewater.org/blog/sanitation-for-women/
Reid, Kathryn. (2020). Global water crisis: Facts, FAQs, and how to help. Retrieved from: https://www.worldvision.org/clean-water-news-stories/global-water-crisis-facts#facts
Washfunders. Five Pressing Global Water and Sanitation Challenges. Retrieved from: https://washfunders.org/five-pressing-global-water-and-sanitation-challenges/