There is a global crisis in water and sanitation. Billions of people live in the kind of squalor and disease that was eradicated long ago in the rich world.
Without sanitation and water there can be no sustainable development in health, education and livelihoods, locking people into a cycle of poverty and disease.
This crisis is one of inequality and poverty. If it is not tackled decisively, it will prevent and undermine progress made in reducing poverty, in achieving universal primary education, and improving people's basic health.
End Water Poverty aims to change policy and practices according to these key principles:
It is a crisis that is killing as many as 5000 children a day - the equivalent of 20 airliners filled with children lost everyday to an entirely preventable public health crisis.
It is a crisis driven by inequality and poverty, where the burden falls most heavily on women. It is girls who are denied an education because they are tasked with fetching water or drop out of school in adolescence because of inadequate sanitation facilities. And as adults, women continue to waste hours each day in the search for water and inevitably look after the children that are ill or dying from diarrhoeal diseases.
In Africa, an estimated 5% of GDP is lost to illnesses and deaths caused by dirty water and the absence of sanitation.
What effect does climate change have on this crisis?
In the coming years, climate change is expected to put increased pressure on water resources. Where water and sanitation services are poorly managed, the effects of climate change are going to make matters much worse. Unless water resources are protected and shared equitably, poor and marginalised communities will suffer most.
Water and sanitation are services that the poor almost always put as one of their top three priorities. However, the international development community and developing country governments treat them predominantly as marginal issues. The volume of spending on the sector has remained largely stagnant over the last ten years, and it has actually fallen in terms of the relative increases in overall aid spending and spending on health and education.
Put simply, the water and sanitation sector is in crisis because there is a lack of political will to push through changes that benefit the poorest and most vulnerable people.
The End Water Poverty campaign is demanding that governments provide sanitation and water for the world's poorest people. We are calling for:
About the End Water Poverty international campaign : http://www.endwaterpoverty.org/
For more details, read:
The opinions herein are those of their authors alone and not necessarily ...