This article is regarding access to clean water and proper sanitation for each human being. The UN United Nations is making utmost efforts to enlighten us about the difficulties we are facing due to the failure of access to clean water and sanitation. In 2015, UN general assembly developed a set of SDG (Sustainable development goals) which aim to deal with issues that affect countries worldwide. One of these 17 goals is that of providing access to clean water and sanitation.

Access to clean water and sanitation is an important goal that need to be attained as billions of humans are being deprived of it, leading to a series of problems. The concerned departments are doing little to eradicate this pervading problem. We need to act now to fix this problem, as water is a necessity that is decreasing at a very alarming rate. According to research, for example, Pakistan is likely to run dry by 2025 due to the existing water problems and lack of solutions to deal with these problems. About 31% of people do not have access to basic sanitation. Consequently, unclean water is causing the development and spreading of infections and diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, cholera etc., which if not treated can be fatal. According to WHO (World Health Organization) the deaths of 361,000 children under 5-years-old could have been avoided if caution against water and sanitation risk factors had been taken.

Pneumonia and diarrhea are the foremost infectious causes of child mortality worldwide. According to research, nearly 2 million children die due to these preventable illnesses. 88% of the diarrheal disease infections occur due to underprivileged hygiene, lack of access to sanitation facilities such as toilets, sewage treatment systems and contaminated drinking water. Water scarcity is also a major issue that affects about 40% of the global population and will lead to droughts in the future. When rainfall decreases, farmers lack access to proper irrigation systems, causing a decrease in food production, contributing to food shortages.

Communities need access to uncontaminated water and sanitation in the Asian and the pacific region. India is one of the largest victims of this problem as 590 people defecate in the open, as they do not have any access to public sanitation. Pakistan on the other hand is facing an acute water problem that might create havoc in the near future if not dealt with properly. In Pakistan, the signs of water stress are omnipresent in the form of water scarcity and contamination.

We should support the concerned departments supporting this cause and working towards diminishing these problems. Water should be treated as a finite resource and the UN must make an effort to increase the efficiency of the usage of water. Additionally, as farmers consume 70% of water for agricultural purposes, they should be informed about methods to sustain the finite supply of water.

MUQEET BHATTI (UCP),

Lahore, January 21.