In order to honor World Water Day that falls on March 22, we’re going to discuss about global water crisis. World Water day is a United Nation initiative for sourcing potable water globally. It highlights the significant of freshwater. It also advocates freshwater resources’ sustainable management. Since nowadays, more and more places declare they suffer from global water crisis. Such as Cape Town, South Africa.
Global Clean Water Crisis
The Earth covered by water for 71 percent of its surface. Yet, it is only 2.5 percent out of that 71% that is fresh, clean water. The amount of freshwater has always been the same. But the explosion of population growth and the amount of water used by an individual increase, causing global clean water crisis.
According to water.org 844 million people across the globe lives without access to safe water. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Report indicates that unsafe drinking water remains a major cause of diarrhea. This unsafe and unclean water causes by mostly pollution.
In many developing countries, rivers are used as open sewers. Pollution of rivers and groundwater by sewage spreads disease and causes environmental degradation. Polluted water worldwide is estimated to affect the health of around 120 million people, according to GEO 2000.
Global water crisis affects major parts of people’s lives worldwide. It also contributes to other problems. Such as:
- Women’s personal development crisis
Women are often than people know, often responsible for collecting water for their families or community need. Meaning they would have less or even no time to work, school and taking care of their families.
Study showed that women spend up to six hours daily collecting water. As we all know that education and employment are two ways to uplift one’s standard of life. Keeping these women away meaning locking them in circle of poverty.
- Health crisis
Clean water is needed to improve health and to fight disease. Any attempt of finding clean water without proper equipment and knowledge comes with different health risks. Such as physical injuries from constant lifting and carrying jars or heavy buckets full of water; wild animal bites, especially the poisonous one.
There also problem with being unable to wash oneself and household utilities. Causing bacteria, germ and virus as root of diseases linger.
- Children and education crisis
Besides women, children are often too responsible in collecting water. This child labor is dangerous for the kids in many aspects. Since it interferes with their childhood, right for education and enjoy their childhood.
- Economic crisis
Global water crisis affects a country’s economic growth. Time spent gathering clean water is one of the reasons why many people cannot make the most of their time working. Clean water allows people to resort to many economic and work opportunities.
It is estimated $260 billion worth of money lost globally every year due to lack of clean water and sanitation. Plus, $32 Billion economic benefits every year could be made from reductions in health care cost provided there was universal access to global clean water and sanitation.
World Sanitation Problem
Clean water and sanitation come together as they are almost inseparable from one another. In order to have proper sanitation, you need clean water, and vice versa. Because without sanitation, renewable water resources would be polluted.
Hospital worldwide full of people with diseases related to sanitation. People suffering from waterborne diseases occupy half the world’s hospital beds.
In the developing world, 80 per cent of disease is due to poor sanitation. At least 2.4 billion people or 40% of the world’s population, lack access to adequate sanitation. The majority of those people live in Asia. Having no proper toilet, these people practice open defecation. Human waste is responsible for the transmission of schistosomiasis, cholera, typhoid and other infectious diseases that affect billions of people.
Sanitation means access to excreta disposal facilities. It should be enough to facilitate every one. But it’s not just providing toilet or focusing on disposal of excreta. It is to give a clean and private environment as well as knowledge and understanding about the connection between hygiene and disease.
Global Water Crisis Also Occurs in Indonesia
Considering that water crisis happens worldwide, we need to also how our country, Indonesia, doing at this issue. It turned out that Indonesia suffers global water crisis too.
A photo taken in Tinambung, West Sulawesi appeared online a few days ago. Showing a middle age woman swam for clean water. Bearing about 200 empty jerry cans tied to her back. This is a daily trip she and other local women in her community do to get clean water.
Under the scorching sun, they swim four-kilometer at Mandar river in order to reach clean water wells built along the riverbank. They then fill up all the jerry cans they has with drinkable water. Back in their community, they would get paid 500 rupiah for a can. they work as water collector play a vital part for around 5800 families in Tinambung District.
Safe drinking water source, as a necessity to live, is still very difficult to locate in many rural and urban Indonesians. Approximately, 1 in 8 Indonesia households do not have access to safe drinking water source. In rural area, access to piped water is still below 10 per cent.
Indonesia has nearly 55,000 kilometers of coastline. Yet, only 2,000 kilometers contain renewable water resources. Seeing that Indonesia is in the tropics, it receives around 2,700 mm of rainfall annually. But the problems with clean water resources in the country are pollution and dry season affected by climate change.
Sewage pollution is the largest and most common type of pollution. Rivers are often used as open sewers. In Indonesia, excess waste materials from textile industry dumped into rivers. In addition, cow manure used in agriculture as fertiliser dispose to rivers. These actions done because of the lack of regulations and low level of education.
In the past few years, Indonesia has experienced increased temperature and volatile season period due to climate change. Which impacting on clean water supply at renewable water resource. Flood would pollute clean water supply while drought threat to reduce overall available of water
Sanitation Problem in Indonesia
Many Indonesians do not have access to proper toilet. With over 60 million people who do not use toilet, making Indonesia the second highest number of any country in the world. This number is available in WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Report 2012 for Water Supply and Sanitation. All the information in the report is based on data collected up to and including 2010.
Instead of toilet, these people practice open defecation. This practice leaves excreta where flies can carry it into household. Children can accidentally do it as well if they unintendedly step on it. It could cause contamination of clean water.
UNICEF reported that every year, around 150 thousand children under 5 years-old die in Indonesia. Cause of death is mostly cases linked to diarrhea and pneumonia.
Around 88 per cent of children death caused by diarrhea. Diarrhea rates 66 per cent higher in children from families practicing open defecation in rivers or streams. In addition, children in household practicing unsafe disposal of child excreta are 19 per cent more likely to have diarrhea.
These two diseases that is preventable if clean water supply and number of proper sanitation are adequate. It is every one responsibility to help these people who suffer global water crisis. Many organizations are open for donation. Such as www.water.org, www.wateraid.org, https://www.unicef.org/indonesia/wes.html, and www.waterhouseindonesia.com. The topic of global water crisis and sanitation crisis are serious matters. Action is needed.