Inter Press ServiceTim Wainwright – Inter Press Service http://www.ipsnews.net News and Views from the Global South Sun, 15 Jul 2018 22:31:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.7 Why You Should Care About the Water Crisishttp://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/care-water-crisis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=care-water-crisis http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/care-water-crisis/#respond Wed, 21 Mar 2018 08:19:12 +0000 Tim Wainwright http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=154924 Tim Wainwright is Chief executive, WaterAid, UK

 
 
This article is part of a series of stories and op-eds launched by IPS on the occasion of World Water Day on March 22.

The post Why You Should Care About the Water Crisis appeared first on Inter Press Service.

]]>

Malika pours water in front of her home in Tillabéri region, Niger. Niger is among the countries with lowest rates of access to clean water close to home. Credit: WaterAid/Aisha Augie-Kuta

By Tim Wainwright
LONDON, Mar 21 2018 (IPS)

For the past weeks, many have been anxiously tracking the approach of Cape Town’s Day Zero: the day its taps will run dry. To everyone’s relief, current predictions are that careful conservation may stave off such a catastrophe in the coastal South African city until the rains arrive.

It is not nearly often enough that a water crisis makes headlines around the world. The Mozambican capital of Maputo, home to nearly 1.2 million people, is facing a severe drought and water shortage that, despite the urgency, has received little attention.

A new WaterAid report, The Water Gap: The State of the World’s Water 2018, reveals that more than 60 percent of the world’s population lives in areas where the water supply does not, or will not, consistently meet demand. There are 844 million people struggling to access what everyone needs most to live: water.

Uganda, Niger, Mozambique, India and Pakistan are among the countries where the highest percentages or largest numbers of people cannot get clean water within a half hour trip. This means millions of people with long walks for water, which is often dirty and likely to make them ill.

Those without power are the worst affected

The report also shows disturbing new data on the often-sizeable gap between rich and poor when it comes to access to water, demonstrating that even those countries making progress are leaving the poorest behind. The least powerful, such as those who are older, ill, or disabled, are most affected because they may be more susceptible to illness and infections from the use of dirty water, with potential fatal consequences.

In Mali and Niger, land-locked nations exposed to drought and flooding in the barren lands of the Sahel, the gap in access to water between rich and poor is vast. In Niger, ranked second least-developed nation in the world in 2016 by the UN, 72% of the wealthiest people have access to water, compared to only 41% of the poorest. While neighbouring Mali made significant progress and secured access for 93% of the rich, only less than half of the country’s poorest can say the same.

This inequality impacts women and girls more, because they bear the brunt of water fetching responsibilities. Think about this: the UN-recommended amount of water per person per day is 50 litres. If it takes 30 minutes round-trip to collect water from the nearest water source, that is two and a half months a year to collect the minimum amount for a family of four – 75,000 litres. That is a lot of time during which young girls should study, and when adult women might be able to care for families or earn an income.

Only 12 years left to fulfil our promise

First and foremost, political will and financing are critical in addressing the water crisis. This year, there is an opportunity to change that.

Nearly three years ago, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals and thus made a promise to end extreme poverty. This summer, world leaders will convene at the UN to review the progress made on Global Goal 6; to deliver water and decent toilets to everyone, everywhere by 2030.

In this, however, the world is dramatically far behind. At the current pace, global access to clean water will happen only by 2066 and global access to decent toilets not until the next century. Meanwhile, nearly 300,000 children under five continue to die every year because of diarrhoea linked to dirty water, poor toilets and poor hygiene.

If we don’t achieve the water goal, other Global Goals for progress in education, nutrition, health, equality and stability will most certainly fail too. Ending extreme poverty is impossible without universal access to clean water and decent toilets.

India has shown us that swift progress is possible. Since 2000, India has reached over 300 million people with clean water close to home; that is nearly the entire population of the United States.

But to make this kind of progress requires focus and political prioritisation – it does not happen by accident. So as world leaders prepare to meet later this year it is an absolute priority that they move to provide water, sanitation and hygiene to everyone, everywhere by 2030, regardless of social or economic standing.

The post Why You Should Care About the Water Crisis appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Excerpt:

Tim Wainwright is Chief executive, WaterAid, UK

 
 
This article is part of a series of stories and op-eds launched by IPS on the occasion of World Water Day on March 22.

The post Why You Should Care About the Water Crisis appeared first on Inter Press Service.

]]>
http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/care-water-crisis/feed/ 0
Decent Toilets for Women & Girls Vital for Gender Equalityhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/11/decent-toilets-women-girls-vital-gender-equality/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=decent-toilets-women-girls-vital-gender-equality http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/11/decent-toilets-women-girls-vital-gender-equality/#respond Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:55:54 +0000 Tim Wainwright http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=153067 Tim Wainwright is Chief Executive at WaterAid

The post Decent Toilets for Women & Girls Vital for Gender Equality appeared first on Inter Press Service.

]]>
Decent Toilets for Women & Girls Vital for Gender Equality

Credit: Lova Rabary-Rakontondravony/IPS

By Tim Wainwright
LONDON, Nov 16 2017 (IPS)

This weekend marks World Toilet Day (November 19)– and the news is disheartening. One in three people are still waiting for a toilet; still having to face the indignity and often fear of relieving themselves in the open or using unsafe or unhygienic toilets.

It is frustrating that the headline statistics have not made greater progress two years into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), when having a toilet is such a fundamental boost to gender equality, as well as health, education and economic opportunity.

Tim Wainwright, CEO, WaterAid UK

In ‘Out of Order: State of the World’s Toilets 2017’, WaterAid’s annual analysis based on WHO-Unicef Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) data, we show that Ethiopia is now the worst country in the world for having the highest percentage of people without toilets, with a staggering 93% lacking access to basic household facilities. India remains the nation with the most people without toilets – 732.2 million people are still waiting for even basic sanitation.

Being denied access to safe, private toilets is particularly dangerous for women and girls, impacting on their health and education, and exposing them to an increased risk of harassment and even attack.

There have been some improvements. Between 2000 and 2015, the number of people defecating in the open globally dropped from 1.2 billion (20% of the world’s population) to 892 million (12%). India is making incredible strides with its Clean India Mission, progress that has not yet been fully captured in the JMP data. In Ethiopia, the number of people defecating in the open has dropped from nearly 80% in 2000 to 27% today – a tremendous step towards the goal of safe sanitation for all.

However, change is not happening fast enough.

The 10 worst countries for access to basic sanitation are all in sub-Saharan Africa, where progress has been abysmally slow. In 2000, 75% of people lacked access to even basic toilets; by 2015, this had only dropped to 72%.

Population growth and the huge numbers of people moving to cities where services can’t keep up means sanitation is falling behind; the number of people practising open defecation in the region has actually increased.

Ethiopia is now the worst country in the world for having the highest percentage of people without toilets, with a staggering 93% lacking access to basic household facilities. India remains the nation with the most people without toilets – 732.2 million people are still waiting for even basic sanitation.
Nigeria is among the countries where open defecation is increasing and is No. 3 in the world’s worst countries for the number of people without toilets. This comes at a heavy price: A WaterAid survey revealed one in five women in Lagos have experienced harassment or been physically threatened or assaulted when going for open defecation or using shared latrines. Anecdotal evidence suggests the problem may be underreported.

Rahab, 20, lives in a camp for internally displaced people in Abuja, where there are no decent toilets.

She said: “We go to the toilet in the bush. It is risky as there are snakes, and I have also experienced some attacks from boys. It is not safe early in the morning or in the night as you can meet anyone. They drink alcohol and will touch you and if you don’t like it, they will force you. If I see men when I go to the toilet, I go back home and hold it in.”

Imagine every time you need the toilet you are frightened. And what scares you is not only the threats you can see – any community without decent toilets is contaminated with human waste.

Diarrhoeal diseases linked to dirty water and poor sanitation and hygiene claim the lives of 289,000 children under 5 each year, while repeated bouts of diarrhoea contribute to malnutrition and stunting, causing impaired development and weakened immune systems.

Women who have suffered stunting are more likely to experience obstructions when giving birth. Poor sanitation and hygiene also increase the risk of infection during and after childbirth, with sepsis accounting for over one in ten of maternal deaths worldwide.

Girls are more likely to miss classes while on their periods when their schools don’t have private toilets, and the same goes for female workers in factories that don’t have decent facilities. None of this is acceptable and so much is preventable.

The world promised that by 2030 everyone will have a safe toilet, but at the current rate of progress, even the moment when everyone basic provision will be decades after that. Next summer, leaders will review progress on Goal 6 to ensure universal access to water and sanitation. As countries prepare for this, there needs to be a dramatic step change in ambition and action.

It is a no-brainer. For every $1 spent on water and sanitation, $4 is returned in increased productivity as less time is lost through sickness. We need governments and donors to acknowledge the importance of sanitation and make the urgent long-term investments needed.

Girls and women should feed into the decision making process to make sure the services meet their needs whatever their age or physical ability. And the issue of sanitation must be taken out of its cubicle – the health, education and business sector must realise that providing safe, accessible toilets to all within their premises is non-negotiable.

Only then girls and women be able to fully participate in their communities, enjoying the health, education and gender equality premiums brought by just being able to use a safe toilet.

The post Decent Toilets for Women & Girls Vital for Gender Equality appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Excerpt:

Tim Wainwright is Chief Executive at WaterAid

The post Decent Toilets for Women & Girls Vital for Gender Equality appeared first on Inter Press Service.

]]>
http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/11/decent-toilets-women-girls-vital-gender-equality/feed/ 0
Why Water, Soap and Toilets are Keys to Ending Malnutritionhttp://www.ipsnews.net/2017/11/water-soap-toilets-keys-ending-malnutrition/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=water-soap-toilets-keys-ending-malnutrition http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/11/water-soap-toilets-keys-ending-malnutrition/#respond Mon, 06 Nov 2017 08:04:54 +0000 Tim Wainwright http://www.ipsnews.net/?p=152895 Tim Wainwright is CEO of WaterAid

The post Why Water, Soap and Toilets are Keys to Ending Malnutrition appeared first on Inter Press Service.

]]>

Student, was given hygiene education in school and told his family what he had learnt, Ta Ngi Primary School, Pursat, Cambodia. Credit: WaterAid/ Laura Summerton

By Tim Wainwright
LONDON, Nov 6 2017 (IPS)

I started work this morning feeling disillusioned. A report had hit my desk that painted a very bleak picture of the state of the world’s health – and for a moment I was over-whelmed by just how much work there was left to do. Then I regrouped – and began making plans.

The Global Nutrition report revealed that despite all of the hard work that’s gone into improving the world’s health, malnutrition remains a serious problem in almost every nation in the world. Some 815 million people go to bed hungry – almost forty million more than in 2015.

And one in five pre-school age children are under-developed, or stunted, because of malnourishment in the first 1,000 days of their life – that’s 155 million children whose brains and bodies are damaged forever.

In some parts of the world the situation is even more dire. Almost half of India’s youngest children are stunted – the life chances of half of a generation damaged even before their first day at school.

And with 613 million women of child-bearing age worldwide suffering from anaemia, one of the largest causes of birth complications, the cycle of malnutrition seems doomed to repeat itself.

The frustrating truth is that despite all best efforts, we are losing the war against malnutrition. And the reason is very simple – we’re fighting the wrong enemy.
Strange as it sounds, giving people more, or even better, food isn’t always enough to keep them well nourished.

That’s because up to half of the malnutrition faced by the world’s under-nourished people isn’t so just because they lack food. It’s because they suffer from chronic infection and illness, from dirty water, poor sanitation and poor hygiene.

One-third of the world’s population doesn’t have access to a decent private toilet, and another 844 million are without clean water – and so diarrhoeal diseases like cholera are quickly spread. Such diseases are responsible for the deaths of 800 children every single day. However, chronic diarrhoea worm infestations, and other infections, can also prevent the absorption of nutrients from food. Even a full belly cannot protect from malnutrition, if your body can’t absorb the nutrients it’s given.

That’s why the world needs to rethink its approach to malnutrition, because the status quo just isn’t going to get the job done. If we want to ensure children’s futures aren’t damaged before their lives have even really begun, then governments, policy-makers and donors need to stop thinking of malnutrition as something that can be stopped with food alone, and start making clean water and toilets a priority.

Through WaterAid’s work we can identify progress in embracing this way of thinking. As the Global Nutrition Report highlights, in Cambodia, where stunting affects one in three of its youngest residents, the government and their partners are improving access to clean water and toilets and treating water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, development and health as inter-related challenges, not as completely separate issues handled by different departments.

If we are to have any chance of meeting the Global Goal to end malnutrition by 2030, and to reach everyone, everywhere with clean water and decent toilets, then others need to adopt this approach, and bolster it with political leadership and funding.

Malnutrition is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today, but it is also an opportunity to do better. Addressing malnutrition while serving those who are hardest to reach with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene would be among the greatest advancements in modern history.

Economists estimate that for every £1 spent on improved water and sanitation, £4 results in improved productivity; for every £1 spent on improved nutrition, £16 of economic gains result. The ripple effects of achieving both would lead to better health and education, and increased prosperity for millions.

The post Why Water, Soap and Toilets are Keys to Ending Malnutrition appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Excerpt:

Tim Wainwright is CEO of WaterAid

The post Why Water, Soap and Toilets are Keys to Ending Malnutrition appeared first on Inter Press Service.

]]>
http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/11/water-soap-toilets-keys-ending-malnutrition/feed/ 0