WaterAid Liberia has called for access to clean water for all, and stronger protections against overuse and misuse of the water supply.
In a new report, “Below the Surface”, WaterAid warns that unsustainable production of products for export, combined with consumers’ increasing desire for water-intensive products, may leave poor communities struggling to access clean water.
WaterAid Liberia is calling for better regulation and allocation to water, to ensure basic needs for water are prioritised.
The charity says while exports of food and goods are important sources of income, production must be made sustainable, and industrial and agricultural use of water should not be prioritised over people’s ability to get water for their basic needs.
Some 844 million people around the world are denied access to clean water simply because of who they are, how much money they have, or where they live.
Lacking access to this human right means people are deprived of an equal chance to be healthy, educated and financially secure.
Just under two-thirds of the world’s population, or close to 4 billion people, live in physically water-scarce areas, where for at least part of the year demand exceeds supply. This number is expected to go up to 5 billion by 2050.
Currently, water quality in Liberia and access to clean water-of the 4.5 million Liberian population, more than one million are unable to access safe drinking water.
WaterAid Liberia Country Director, Chuchu Selma said this World Water Day, some 1.5 million people in Liberia are still without a source of clean water close to home.
According to him, this means lost education, lost opportunities and hundreds of lost lives each year. He said the time to act is now.
Mr. Selma further noted: “we must ensure that we protect our precious water supplies for the future, and ensure that we reach everyone with this basic for life, leaving no one behind’.
World leaders have promised to address this crisis by 2030 through United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6.
For his part, WaterAid Chief Executive, Tim Wainwright said: “This World Water Day, we are more determined than ever to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone everywhere, by 2030. Unequal access to water and rapidly growing water scarcity, fuelled by a growing demand on water resources and the impact of climate and population changes, traps people in poverty and limits potential.
“The push for economic development must not imperil current and future generations’ access to water. There can be no sustainable economic development without access to water for all.”
WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 34 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 25.8 million people with clean water and 25.1 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, follow @wateraid or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or find WaterAid UK on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid.
844 million people in the world – one in nine – do not have clean water close to home.
2.3 billion people in the world – almost one in three – do not have a decent toilet of their own.
Around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That’s almost 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.
Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity. Just £15 can provide one person with clean water.