The lack of safe water, functional toilets, and handwashing facilities poses significant health risks to people. Globally, 91% of the population has access to groundwater source or tap water for drinking purposes. However, when it comes to hygiene, one in 3 people still lack access to hygienic sanitation facilities, including 946 Million people who still defecate in the open, increasing the exposure to fecal pathogens for themselves and members of their communities. An estimated 81% of the world’s population does not wash hands with soap after contact with excreta. The lack of access to sanitation and hygiene has poor health outcomes.
WHO estimates 8,42,000 deaths from the diarrhoeal disease each year could be prevented by improved water, hygiene and sanitation. Proper sanitation practices can also reduce pneumonia, flu, infective conjunctivitis. Basic hygienic practices by birth attendants and new mothers can reduce the risk of infections, sepsis and deaths in Mothers and infants by 15%. Water, sanitation and hygiene has the potential to prevent at least 9.1% of the global disease burden and 6.3% of all deaths. Improved water sources reduce diarrhoea morbidity by 21%; improved sanitation reduces diarrhoea morbidity by 37.5%; and the simple act of washing hands at critical times can reduce the number of diarrhoeal cases by as much as 35%. Such is the impact of hygiene on human health and the inextricable link between water and basic hygiene.
Now imagine a world without water and ensuring hygiene in such a condition. Would hygiene be possible without access to water for washing hands, for using the toilet, for cleaning oneself? The answer is no. However, we are slowly inching towards the reality of Day Zero. A day when water taps will run dry, not a drop of water available for basic cleaning and hygienic purposes. What would that lead to? Diseases, infections, mortality. Despite technological advancements and us reaching the moon, water can neither be manufactured nor can it be invented.
The source of life on Earth, is a gift of nature and in our quest for more, we have ended up exploiting our natural resources to the point that they have started shrinking. Come to think of it, it is a sign of danger. Yet, it still is not too late. Become a water warrior today and do your bit to save water and save mankind. Change begins with you. All you need to do is join the conversation by looking up at what Harpic News18 Mission Paani is doing to spread awareness around water conservation. The platform is tirelessly working for the cause for months now at a national level, and has also made its presence felt in international forums with its clear and urgent messaging, urging one and all to help save water. Do your bit today in order to have water that can last you tomorrow.