Whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right
As we marked World Water Day last week I would like to highlight the importance of access to clean water around the world.
This year’s theme of World Water Day has been “Leave no one behind – clean access for everybody by 2030”.
The heartbreaking reality
Here are some of the realities we are facing in today’s world:
- 2.1 billion people live without safe water at home.
- One in four primary schools have no drinking water service, with pupils using unprotected sources or going thirsty.
- More than 700 children under five years of age die every day from diarrhea linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation.
- Globally, 80% of the people who have to use unsafe and unprotected water sources live in rural areas.
- Over 800 women die every day from complications in pregnancy and childbirth.
- Around 159 million people collect their drinking water from surface water, such as ponds and streams.
- Around 4 billion people – nearly two-thirds of the world’s population – experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year.
- 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030.
Water in Myanmar
As a United Nations staff member in Myanmar I can see the challenges of access to clean water every day. Since I moved here, I have been faced with the reality of having to use water from bottles and filters as the tap water cannot be used, not even for brushing teeth. While I am in the fortunate position of being able to buy clean water for my family, many people in Myanmar do not have that ability due to their limited income.
I was glad to see that Myanmar has been chosen as a backdrop in the official World Water Day poster. Inle Lake is located in Shan State in the north of the country, a complex area with a long history and inspiring sights. The fisherman you see in the poster has a unique way of peddling on the lake, wrapping his leg around the pole to steer the boat. They also use the traps you see to hunt for fish. To me Inle lake as been an inspiring region were tradition and innovation is coming together. You can see amazing projects where renewable and sustainable energy meets traditional Myanmar and Shan state culture.
It is also a reminder of how precious these water reservoirs are. They provide livelihood to thousands of people.
Water is essential
Since we all need water to survive, people are forced to drink the tap water, resulting in many people becoming sick and even dying from water born diseases. People in the developed world do not think much about water as it is readily available around us. Once something becomes scares it will rise as a priority and gain our attention. We do not see water as a critical element for survival. In most developed cities, water is available as tap water or can be drank from clean fountains as I have experienced in Rome, Italy.
Living in Myanmar made me realize how important clean water is for our survival and wellness. Since water is clear and odorless there is a lot of trust we need to exercise when drinking water that it will be good for us and safe to drink.
We often rely on known water brands to be certain that the water will be safe and clean for us to drink.
The fine water industry
The fine water industry takes this important step forward. Not only do premium brands provide clean and safe water to drink, they also ensure that minerals are available in their waters which will promote wellness in our lives. You will find a description of the mineral content on the water bottle label. The TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) will give you s sense on the overall mineral level in that particular water.
We are constantly in search of improving ourselves and performing at our highest level and with water we have an easy-to-implement product right in front of our noses.
Take a moment to think about the state of our planet when it comes to water and consider what action you can take to improve the current state.