The importance of water for sustainable growth is totally necessary. It’s essential to maintaining one’s health, food supply, quality of life and overall economic growth. However, for many developing countries easy access to clean water isn’t a reality. Safe water is a luxury for many in certain parts around the globe.
Lack of clean water effects
There are 783 million people who don’t have access to clean and safe water. 37 percent of those people live in sub-Saharan Africa. In many parts of the world women and girls are the ones responsible for the domestic water supply. They often have to walk miles to the nearest source.
The journey is dangerous and so is their water. The time they spent walking to the nearest source could otherwise be spent pursuing education, taking care of their families or earning extra income. Clean water is also beneficial to reduce the number of water-related diseases.
In developing countries, people are forced to consume contaminated water due to their lack of funds. Groundwater from a well is the best source of clean drinking water. However, building maintaining and testing these wells is very costly.
People of developing countries will ultimately resort to drinking from a common body of water. Many of these people live in developing regions such as Africa and Asia.
- Water is the basis for everything. There are many examples of waterborne parasites like Dracunculiasis. It’s also known as Guinea Worm Disease and is found in unclean drinking water. There are many symptoms such as fever, rash, vomiting, and diarrhea. Thankfully, the reported number of cases of Guinea Worm Disease is decreasing and will hopefully be eradicated in the coming years.
- Schistosomiasis is also called snail fever or bilharzia. It’s caused by parasitic worms when a person comes in contact with contaminated freshwater. The symptoms are rash, itchy skin, chills, and fever. If the symptoms aren’t treated properly then it can lead to bladder cancer.
- Acanthamoeba and Naegleria are amoebas found in recreational water. It can also be found in unclean drinking water in, for example, the Philippines. The amoebas are heat tolerant and can withstand fluctuating temperatures. If Acanthamoeba affects the skin it can be treated. However, if it affects the brain and spinal cord it can be fatal.
Even though there are many problems in developing countries, some organizations are working to provide clean water. However, the organizations alone will not be able to bring changes. We, as a whole should take steps forward to bring positive changes.
Plants also require water for survival just like us. They derive water along with nutrients from the soil. If they don’t get enough water then they won’t be able to synthesize food. As a result, the oxygen level in the atmosphere could decrease.
This would ultimately affect all living organisms on this planet. If you don’t provide clean water to your plants twice on a hot summer day, they might wilt away and ultimately dry up. So, unclean water not only harms plant growth but also allows plants to absorb dangerous chemicals from the water and pass them onto animals.
When the water is unclear, the capacity of water to dissolve gases such as carbon dioxide is negatively affected. Unclean water makes the soil acidic and negatively affects the solubility of nutrient ions, such as iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium ions. Also, unclean water leaves large amounts of aluminum in the soil. This can be harmful to plants.
Safe and clean water is necessary for everyday living not only as drinking water but also for domestic use, food production or recreational purposes. If a country has improved water supply and better management of water sources every citizen can lead a healthy personal life and it can also contribute to poverty reduction and economic growth.
Unfortunately in most of the developing countries, we see people don’t even have the proper supply of basic drinking water. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 785 million people lack basic drinking-water service.
People around the world are facing many personal health issues due to a lack of clean water. Contaminated water causes diseases such as cholera, diarrhea dysentery typhoid and polio. Lack of clear water can also cause different skin diseases.
Again, according to the WHO, by 2025 half of the population of the world will be living in water-stressed areas. Even many experts believe that the next reason for a world war can be a lack of safe and clear water.
So, educating the public about these issues needs to be encouraged. Not everyone knows how big the issue of contaminated water is. This is especially true for those living in developing countries. They may not even know the dangers of the water they are using. Many just know, it’s water and we need it to survive.
It will take time for developing countries to solve the problem of unclean water. However, this shouldn’t hinder the process of taking action. The millions will reap the benefits of clean water.