Safe drinking water and sanitation: essential for health, dignity and prosperity
The good news is that ensuring access to safe drinking water and sanitation for all is possible.
To begin with, virtually every country has sufficient water resources to ensure the satisfaction of everyone’s basic personal and domestic needs.
Furthermore, investing in safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for all is not only what States are obliged to do under international human rights law, it is also a wise decision from an economic point of view. Recent research from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that every US $1 invested in water and sanitation on average generates an economic return of US $ 8 in costs averted and productivity gained. In other words: it is eight times cheaper to solve the current crisis in access to safe drinking water and sanitation crisis than allowing it to continue.
In many cases it is low-cost interventions that make the biggest difference. The simple act of hand-washing with soap (or ash, sand or mud) at critical times can reduce the occurrence of deadly diarrhoea by half, making it the by far most cost-effective intervention to reduce disease and death resulting from water and sanitation related diseases.
What is required now to transform the vicious circle of sickness, lost life opportunities and poverty into a virtuous circle of better health and rising wealth is the political will – at international and national level (both in the South and in the North) – to make safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for all a genuine political and development priority.
Help us to generate that political will. Support WASH United and become a member now. Every new member makes our voice stronger and helps WASH United generate political will for this fundamental human right.