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Enjoying Clean Water

Clean Water and Sanitation

What is clean water and sanitation?

Clean water and sanitation are fundamental human rights and essential for sustainable development. Clean water is water that is free from any contaminants, while sanitation refers to the provision of facilities, services, and safe management of human waste. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 aims to ensure that everyone has access to clean water and sanitation by 2030.

Why is it important?

Access to clean water and sanitation is critical for human health and well-being. Lack of access to clean water and sanitation causes many health problems, including diarrhea, cholera, and other waterborne diseases.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 2.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and 4.2 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation services. The lack of access to clean water and sanitation disproportionately affects vulnerable groups, such as women and girls, who often bear the burden of collecting water, and marginalized communities who face discrimination.

In addition to its health benefits, access to clean water and sanitation is also essential for economic growth and sustainable development. For example, clean water is necessary for agriculture and industrial processes, while sanitation is crucial for reducing pollution and preserving natural resources.

What are the challenges?

Despite the importance of clean water and sanitation, achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 is still a significant challenge. Some of the challenges include:


1. Lack of infrastructure and resources


Many developing countries lack the infrastructure and resources to provide clean water and sanitation to their citizens.

2. Climate change


Climate change is affecting the availability and quality of water in many regions of the world.

3. Conflicts and displacement


Conflicts and displacement can exacerbate water and sanitation challenges.

4. Gender inequality


Women and girls are often responsible for collecting water, which can be time-consuming and dangerous, and may miss out on educational and economic opportunities as a result.

What can be done?

To achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6, a comprehensive and collaborative approach is necessary. Some of the proposed solutions include:

1. Improving infrastructure


Governments and international organizations can invest in improving infrastructure to provide clean water and sanitation services to all.

2. Promoting water conservation


Encouraging water conservation measures can help address water scarcity and ensure the availability of clean water.

3. Addressing climate change


Taking action to address climate change can help ensure the availability and quality of water.

4. Tackling gender inequality


Addressing gender inequality and promoting women's participation in decision-making related to water and sanitation can help ensure that their needs and concerns are addressed.

5. Encouraging private sector involvement


The private sector can play a role in improving access to clean water and sanitation through innovative technologies and financing solutions.

6. Strengthening international cooperation


International cooperation is necessary to address the transboundary nature of water resources and ensure that no one is left behind in the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal 6.


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