KitoOnlus Blog

ACCESS TO WATER AND SANITATION, a right denied

On 28 July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution that recognizes the human right to water and sanitation, since they are both necessary in order to guarantee human dignity and the realisation of all human rights. Still, according to Water.org 1 in 10 people lack access to safe water and 1 in 3 lack access to a toilet. In some countries the situation is particularly dramatic: WHO’s 2014 statistics registered in the Pacific West Region 94,000 deaths due to diseases and complications caused by lack of clean water and sanitation. Water.org estimates also that 26 millions Filipinos do not enjoy these basic services. This is caused by many factors among those urbanization, population growth and environmental pollution and everything gets even worse after natural disasters and their negative impact on resources supply and distribution. In the country the lack of clean water and, on the other hand, the large use made of contaminated water, leads to an almost unbelievable result. “Unsafe water kills more people than wars each year“,  “A lack of clean water and sanitation in the Philippines kills 55 people every day“, “Diarrhea from dirty water has killed 9 in Zamboanga City since March” : these are some of the headings of articles published in recent years dealing with the water issue. Last April the Cebu City Mayor, Mike Rama, proclaimed state of emergency because of an alarming water scarcity affecting 98% of the residents of the city’s barangays (read the article here). According to the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines within 2025 Philippines could experience drought in water supply.

But this kind of situation doesn’t have to be hopeless. Indeed, a urgent action is needed, led by many different national and international actors for the improvement of water security, access and management. Such activities do already exist: for instance, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is conducting the #BeSecure project aimed at managing in an appropriate way the demand for water and sanitation. And above all, the biggest collaboration despite the difficulties is requested to the Filipino population, that has to learn how to preserve water and how to reduce waste and pollution.

Faucet-water-supply-5© http://www.philstar.com/business/2016/05/06/1580199/eccp-sounds-alarm-key-philippine-cities-risk-severe-water-shortage