What has amazed most in reading the reports of people in lockdown in recent weeks is how so many in the west are completely unaware of the hardships that most of the world’s population confront daily. From drought to thirst to a variety of public health dangers, it is only with COVID-19 that western people are coming to see a slice of what the rest of the world has had to deal with daily. One such issue that most never think about as we turn to fill up our kettle with water is basic plumbing.
It is estimated that between 790 million and 844 million people (roughly 11% of the world’s population) do not have clean water near their homes. And those without access to adequate sanitation is estimated to be 1.8 billion people (25% of the world’s population). This means that at least 10% of the world’s population is forced to consume food irrigated by wastewater. The result of poor sanitation is the reduction of physical well-being and of social and economic development due to the impacts. For instance, lack fo sanitation and is linked to anxiety, risk of sexual assault and the loss of educational opportunities.