We often hear people say that “water is life”. Indeed, when studying the human body, we observe that it is made up of about 70% water. We can understandably say that without water, life would not be possible for human beings. The connection between the right to life and the right to water is obvious: mankind has the right to live and therefore, logically, the right to water. Since mankind has the right to live, and needs water to live, the water issue must be treated first and with the utmost seriousness… The survival of the human species depends on it!
For water to be a source of life, it must be available for consumption. Water is abundant but only 3% of the water is consumable. In addition, this water is unevenly distributed on the planet, as can be seen in desert areas in Africa. This uneven distribution can lead to conflicts.
Non-potable water is a threat
Today’s frantic race for economic growth is often at the expense of the protection of the environment. Water resources are not spared; they are polluted by human, animal and chemical waste.
Due to ignorance or lack of choice, many populations consume non-potable water that causes several diseases and that can even lead to death. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), many children carry waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever and diarrhoea. 1 in 5 children die before reaching the age of 5 in the country.
How to make water not a threat?
As the world’s population increases, so do the risks related to water. Nevertheless, water is a right for every person on Earth, wherever they may be and whatever their standard of living may be. It is necessary to manage water rationally to avoid conflicts between communities but also to guarantee potable water for populations. Sanitation of living environments is also essential. It is absolutely necessary to dispose waste in appropriate places, clean the sewers and raise awareness among all the members of the community.
How can anyone believe that it is possible to find potable water in a non-sanitised environment? Potable water is everyone’s right but it is also everyone’s duty to commit to it. We must respect and maintain this resource, vital to our survival!
Translated from French by Ariane Apodaca