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Mission Paani: Did You Know? Water Conservation Can Lead to Improved Sanitation and Hygiene

Image for representation | Credit: Reuters

Image for representation | Credit: Reuters

Each year, thousands of people die from diseases induced by unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, or poor hygiene.

Water is needed by all the living creatures around the world. With not more than 3% available to humans as freshwater, the need to conserve the precious natural resource is even greater. We use water for many activities other than drinking, so saving natural resource is an essential need for life on the planet.

Safely managed water is an essential part of protecting human health. In resource-constrained settings, it is very difficult to have an elaborate infrastructure in regards to public health and sanitation. Good water and waste management practices, if consistently applied, can go a long way and serve as blessings for homes, communities, health care facilities, schools, and other public spaces.

Each year, thousands of people die from diseases induced by unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, or poor hygiene. Lack of access to safe water at home is something that is faced by billions around the world. Over half of the world’s population does not have access to safely managed sanitation. Women, in particular, in the developing world bear the brunt of the shortage of availability to clean and safe water. In fact, hundreds of children each year die from water-borne diseases alone.

The majority of people who live in extreme poverty, in rural areas, are largely dependent on agriculture and such activities for their survival. The well-being of these people is closely tied to the natural environment, vulnerable to water shortages, environmental destruction, and climate change.

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In the larger scope and interest of community livelihoods and wellbeing, one should build water and sanitation capacity.

  • It is important to understand the maintenance and repair of water systems.
  • For rural areas particularly, it is necessary to develop new sustainable water sources. Local communities should join hands to drill new wells and boreholes.
  • Existing ones should be repaired. Also constructing water troughs for livestock and building and repairing water towers can play a huge role in ensuring a reliable supply of clean water.
  • Communities can be empowered to build and repair toilets in homes, schools and public spaces.
  • Lobbying local or state governments to dedicate public resources to water infrastructure projects can help in hygiene building.
  • If the local communities can implement water conservation techniques like drip irrigation and rain harvesting projects, it can help in sanitation building in the area. In this way, the use of water is minimized and water can be collected and stored for future use before it reaches the ground.

Good hygiene is not just a convenience, it helps in improving living conditions and saving lives.

In order to raise awareness about water harvesting and conservation of resources, News18, along with Harpic, has started the Mission Paani campaign. The initiative aims at preserving natural resource for everyone.

first published:March 20, 2021, 19:15 IST