Water a Human Rights Concern - Start Harvesting Rainwater
One of the most talked about topics these days are that of the drought, low dam levels, and water scarcity. For years now, citizens have been made aware that saving water is crucial and that literally, every drop counts. Even though we are living in a water conscious era, many people don’t even have access to basic water needs.
Water availability in South Africa
Our country has made tremendous efforts to improve the quality of life for its residents by extending basic services to un-serviced or under-serviced homes and areas. 89.8% of households are using water directly from the mainline supply as a source of drinking water or for household purposes. Although this statistic is impressive, it also means that a large portion of people still retrieves water from “one tap” homes – meaning one tap in the home or in the yard while others still rely on water from communal taps or water from unsafe sources such as streams, rivers or wells.
Water in relation to the World
According to a World Health Organisation study 2.1 billion people globally still lack safe drinkable water at the home of which 236 million spend more than 30 minutes per day on a round trip collecting water. 844 million people do not have any basic drinking water services. From the 2.1 million people, 159 million drink water directly from open and unsafe sources such as streams or rivers. 4.5 billion people globally have no toilets at home and are unable to handle wastage safely. 600 million people share toilets or latrines with other households. Access to water and soap for washing hands varies immensely worldwide. Only 1 in 4 people in low-income countries have facilities with soap and water at home while only 14% of people in sub-Saharan Africa have facilities.
Water a Global Responsibility
Water shortage does not mean just a little water, it should also be used as a reminder that there are still people around the world, and in South Africa, who have to go through desperate and extreme measures on a daily basis just to have access to this basic human right.