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How Do Poor Urban Dwellers Get Access to Clean Drinking Water?

The communities, NGOs, the government as well as private sectors will all need to work hand-in-hand if the distribution of pure drinking water and sanitation is to be fair and just.

News18.com | Updated: November 30, 2019, 12:56 PM IST
The debate between how much more privilege the urban sectors get as compared to rural areas is never-ending. While steps are being taken to bridge that gap, there is one more discrepancy that needs to be taken care of when it comes to the matter of access to clean drinking water. Even in the urban setting, there are certain areas that face massive shortage of water and the standards of hygiene also remain low. What to do when a basic human right, the right to pure drinking water, is denied?

The first step is to take note of how the general water and sewer pipe services that we enjoy in our homes, haven’t reached till those areas. That is an infrastructural error that needs to be rectified with haste. The IIED (International Institute for Environment and Development has been collaborating with a variety of local partners in order to provide these areas access to clean drinking water.

The other point of debate when it comes to urban water and sanitation provisions is, what is better — private or public provisions? While the international agencies highly encourage private sectors to step up and take part in the process, there is essentially no justification of how that is better for the poor urban dwellers and how it makes a big difference.

The communities, NGOs, the government as well as private sectors will all need to work hand-in-hand if the distribution of pure drinking water and sanitation is to be fair and just. After all, a third of the urban households in both developing Asia and Africa have reportedly been using their nearby wells for water access, which is quite questionable considering the quality and hygiene of such water when consumed.

According to statistics, the number of urban households that don’t have access to clean water has gone up from 112 million in 1990 to 2.1 billion in 2018, globally. This increase is preposterous considering access to clean water is a basic human right. While the government and the organisations like WHO and IIED work on clearing up this issue, we as a citizens can also help by doing our bit.

See how we can be aware and more conscious in our usage and wastage of water in our daily lives. If you need tips and tricks and more information on how to do it, check out the Harpic News18 Mission Paani initiative, which is doing a lot of work to spread awareness around the current water crisis. Together, we can avert it!