According to the United Nations report of 2013, there areapproximately 783 million people across the globe who have no accessto clean water. A vast majority of the people affected by the lack ofclean water come from the developing and underdeveloped countriesespecially in the sub-Saharan Africa. It is evident thatapproximately 85% of the world’s population lives in dry areasacross the world (Lindh, 66). This has place a vast majority of thesepeople to walk long distances in search of water. It is imperative tonote that the effects of climate change have contributed to theproblem of water shortage.
The lack of clean drinking water has had tremendous effects on thelives of the affected people across the world. The major problem hasremained to be the waterborne diseases. Lack of water has a directeffect of lack of sanitation (Curry 6). This in the turn causesnumerous diseases which have caused numerous deaths. Typhoid,diarrhea and cholera are the main diseases associated with the lackof sufficient, clean and affordable water. Diarrhea has been cited asthe number killer disease in young children across the sub-SaharanAfrica (Savic 188). This has a huge impact the lives of children, aswell as their parents. The Bangladesh community is one such group ofpeople who are continuously affected by the lack of clean andsufficient water. This has had tremendous health effects on them, aswell as reducing their life expectancy.
As the old adage says, water is life, there is no doubt about it. Amajority of the people who lack enough clean water have had theirlives affected in all aspects. Lack of sufficient, clean andaffordable water has detrimental economic effects. It I evident thatwater is a significant input in the agricultural sector. Therefore,lack of it has made numerous communities to live in abject poverty.It is also vital to point out that people in areas without sufficientwater walk for long distances for search of water and cannottherefore concentrate on income generating activities. They spend ahuge chunk of their time in search of water.
Furthermore, lack of sufficient water by some communities in thedeveloping countries, has led to famine. Water is essential in theproduction of food through agriculture. Therefore, the lack of itwould assert that there will be little or no food production. As aconsequence, the communities in water poor areas have remainedwithout sufficient food. This has had detrimental effects on thehealth of such people. It is a common occurrence to find emaciatedchildren and even adults in regions where there is no water. It is asad fact that lack of water has even been associated with numerousdeaths across the world. The famine that affects dry areas across theworld has led to numerous deaths (Savic 136). A clear example is thenorth eastern part of Kenya in Africa where there is little or nowater for the pastoralist communities. Numerous deaths have beenreported in the region and photos of emaciated humans spread acrossthe social media.
Water is essential for sanitation in the homes and in schools. AUNICEF report, Raising Clean Hands: Advancing Learning, Healthand Participation through WASH in Schools, indicatesthat there are numerous children who go schools where there is noclean water and no clean latrines. This has led to numerous healtheffects. The report also points out to the fact that there arenumerous girls who drop out of school as a result of the lack ofclean water and sanitation. This lack of cleanliness in schools,especially in the Middle East, is said to lower the quality of lifefor the children. It is also evident from the report that there are272 million schools days missed every year due tohygiene-related diseases such diarrhea and cholera (Savic 42). Lackof sufficient and clean water in such schools will have a huge effecton such a community. This is due to the fact that there will be lowlevels of education and high school drop outs. Furthermore, lack ofenough water remains to life hazard to the lives of the children.
Lack of water has led to conflicts amongst different communitieswhile searching for the precious commodity. In areas where there isscarcity of water, communities have been fighting over water. As aconsequence, this has led to numerous deaths and animosity amongstcommunities. The effects of lack of water are enormous. They rangefrom health effects, economic effects, conflicts, deaths, drought andfamine, as well as poor quality of life (Cain 1). These are effectsthat affect the lives of almost one billion people across the globe.
Whereas there seems to be various efforts by some stakeholders suchas the United Nations and UNICEF, the problem of water shortage stillremains a huge challenge to a vast majority of governments across theworld. African countries and other developing countries are yet toachieve the set standard of ensuring that every person has at least100 liters of water per day (Lindh 72). It is imperative to that theUnited Nations has played a major role in ensuring that every personhas access to clean, sufficient, affordable and accessible water. TheUnited Nations General Assembly recognized water and sanitation as ahuman right in July 2010. This is a significant step towards ensuringthat every individual across the globe does not suffer from effectsof lack of sufficient water.
Lindh, Gunnar, Malin Falkenmark, and Peter H. Gleick. 2007. Waterin crisis: a guide to the world`s fresh water resources. NewYork: Oxford Univ. Press.
Savic, Dragan A. 2005. Sustainable water management solutions forlarge cities. Wallingford: Internat. Assoc. of HydrologicalSciences.
Curry, Elliot. 2010. Water Scarcity and the Recognition of the HumanRight to Safe Freshwater. Northwestern Journal of InternationalHuman Rights. Volume 9 | Issue 1. Pdf.
Cain, Nicholas. 2010. A different path: the global water crisis andrainwater harvesting. The journal of sustainable development.Vol. 3, Issue 1. Pdf.