Why We Need Water - a Good Neighbors Australia perspective
There are three things that we cannot live without: food, rest and water.
Water has always been considered to be crucial to any living being's survival, but it wasn't until the middle of 2010 when the United Nations officially recognised clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right.
Here in the land down under, Australia is well-known for basically being surrounded by water, given that we're an island country. We are also fortunate to have nationwide water treatment plants to continually ensure that we have water to drink, bathe, cook and more. But we are in the minority.
Right now there are about 2.3 billion people living in water-stressed countries, with approximately 785 million people still unable to drink clean water - meaning that just about 34% of people in the world do not have access to this simple, but essential resource.
That's why water resources and sanitation are on the United Nations 2030 agenda to make the world a better place, where everyone in the world can access basic necessities freely and without struggle. The sixth target on the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals is to "ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030".
There has been dedicated focus on ensuring that everyone is able to access clean water. The latest Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 report by the United Nations acknowledges worldwide progress towards water availability, and notes that 1.6 billion people have safely managed to secure drinking services since 2000.
Regrettably, the United Nations report reveals that despite all the efforts, we are still very much far from achieving the sixth Sustainable Development Goal by 2030. In fact according to the very same report, we have to quadruple our efforts on an international level in order to reach the target of everybody gaining access to water.
What's Good Neighbors Australia done?
We stand by the United Nations' sustainable development goals, where we implement many community development projects (CDPs) including the WASH program. This particular CDP promotes hygiene education in communities while also implementing facilities that enable clean water.
A lack of clean water doesn't only mean that people can't access drinking water. Unsanitised water can also harbour many infections such as waterborne diseases. For instance, children in some developing countries have high rates of diarrhoea and respiratory diseases because of unclean water. It's gotten to the point where the government has had to intervene and find new ways to address this problem.
Good Neighbors Australia is currently working with Good Neighbors Cambodia to install solar water pumps, proper toilets as well as hand washing spaces for 14 primary schools in rural Cambodia, as part of the WASH program. 16 490 people including the children, their families and teachers also received hygiene education once the sanitation sites were constructed.
We also have the Good Water Project. Implemented worldwide in many countries including Zambia, Good Neighbors Australia is dedicated to saving children from the daily four hour journey to getting water. To do this, we work closely with the community to build water facilities and tanks at schools, restrooms as well as providing sanitary kits for the children participating in the campaign.
Check out the video below for further details:
Next week on March 22nd is World Water Day. It's a day to acknowledge that water shouldn't be taken for granted, and that we should strive towards a future where everybody in the world can comfortably access the fresh and rejuvenating sensation of water.
What can you do?
In the meantime, consider donating to Good Neighbors Australia's community development programs, where your proceeds will go towards the WASH projects presently operating in developing countries, like Cambodia and Zambia.