Clean Water

Impact finance for products that improve lives

Clean Water

Clean Water

Having access to clean water is a prerequisite for achieving energy and food security as well as human and environmental health. Yet, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services.

In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognised the right of every human to water and sanitation. Water is the bedrock of sustainable development: from achieving energy and food security as well as human and environmental health, water is at the heart of everyone’s daily life. 

Issue

  • 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services (source: WHO/ UNICEF).
  • 159 million people still collected drinking water directly from surface water sources, among which 58% lived in Sub-Saharan Africa (source: WHO).
  • Diarrhoeal disease is the third leading cause of death among children under five (source: WHO/ UNICEF).
  • In low- and middle-income countries, 38% of health care facilities lack an improved water source, 19% do not have improved sanitation, and 35% lack water and soap for handwashing (source: WHO).
As a result of all this, inclusive growth via social and economic development of people affected by the lack of clean water and sanitation remains a challenge. People lacking basic drinking water service typically have to collect water, which usually takes them over 30 minutes per round trip. In most cases (8 out of 10 households), women and girls are responsible for water collection (source: WHO/ UNICEF). Drinking contaminated water also exposes people to health issues and preventable health risks such as diarrhoea, cholera or dysentery. Illness related to contaminated water is for example responsible of 443 million school days lost each year (source: UNDP, 2006).

Solutions
Clean water and sanitation are prerequisites for health, dignity, privacy and education. Improving access to clean water and sanitation would decrease water collection time for women and girls. Health care facilities would have proper access to sanitation and hygiene services, thus reducing the risks of infection and diseases among patients and staff. The good news is that water treatment options and simple toilets are available. In most cases, these technologies have been rigorously tested, but awareness on the issues and accessibility of technology is lacking.

BIX IS AN INITIATIVE OF CARDANO DEVELOPMENT, SHELL FOUNDATION AND GOODWELL ADVISORY