March 22, 2019
According to a 2017 joint report by WHO and UNICEF, 2.1 billion people lack safe drinking water at home, more than twice as many lack safe sanitation. Some 3 in 10 people worldwide, or 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home, and 6 in 10, or 4.5 billion, lack safely managed sanitation.
The implication of this is that these people are at risk of various water related diseases, many of which are fatal. At the moment, only 61% of the people in sub-Saharan Africa have access to have access to clean water sources. Similarly, over 40% of all people globally that lack access to drinking water are in sub-Saharan Africa. In these areas, the burden of carrying water falls primarily on women and young girls who are forced to walk several miles in search of water.
The inadequacy of clean water sources have accounted for poor sanitation in the affected areas with rural areas topping the list. A vast majority of rural people still practice open defecation or lack adequate sanitation facilities. The consequences of such practices are very devastating for human health and the environment. Even in more developed areas where household toilets are readily available, a large number of the toilets are either connected to septic tanks that are not safely emptied or use other means that discharge sewage into open drains.
In line with its commitment to promote clean water sources and encourage good sanitation, Sahara Foundation is committed to the donation of boreholes in areas of need. The donation of these boreholes have contributed to the eradication of Guinea-worm disease in Nigeria and Ghana, an achievement which has fueled our desire to do more. We have also promoted good sanitation through the donation of public toilets in rural areas and provided training on how to maintain the facilities.
In alignment with the theme for this year’s World Water Day commemoration, Leaving No One Behind, Sahara Group adds her voice and support to the call for making safe water available for all. We support the human right of all to safe water. We remain committed to efforts geared towards making clean and safe water available to all including the marginalized and poor.
Happy World Water Day.