World Bank research shows poor sanitation and lack of clean water cause poverty

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Sept.9(Greenpost)– World Bank has issued a report during the recent world water week in Stockholm titled Reducing inequalities in water supply, sanitation and hygiene in the era of the sustainable development goals.

The report calls for drastic change in the way countries manage resources and provide key services, starting with better targeting to ensure they reach those most in need, and tackling inefficiencies to make sure public services are sustainable and effective.

Guangzhe Chen, Senior Director of the Water Global Practice of the World Bank speaks at the high level panel at the opening of the World Water Week. Photo by Xuefei Chen Axelsson

“Millions are currently trapped in poverty by poor water supply and sanitation, which contributes to childhood stunning and debilitating diseases such as diarrhea. To give everyone an equal chance at reaching their full potential, more resources, targeted to areas of high vulnerability and low access, are needed to close the gaps and improve poor water and sanitations services.  This report provides  a roadmap for closing that gap,” said Guangzhe Chen, Senior Director of the Water Global Practice of the World Bank.

Offering a comprehensive analysis of water and sanitation indicators, the research spans 18countries around the world and for the first time, pinpoints specific geographic regions within countries that have inadequate WASH services. It sheds light on major disparities in water supply and sanitation services between rural and urban poor and non poor areas.

Craig Kullmann, specialist and Luis Andres, Lead Economists at Water Global Practice, World Bank. Photo by Xuefei Chen Axelsson

The research finds a particularly stark contrast between urban and rural areas. Across the 18 countries, 75% of people who lack improved sanitation live in rural areas, and only 20 % of rural inhabitants have access to improved water. This report provides policymakers with a baseline and guidance on how to better target investments to ensure that basic services reach the poorest communities and households.

In Nigeria, over 60% of the rural population live more than 30 minutes away from a working water source.

In Indonesia, only 5 percent of urban wastewater is safely treated and disposed of  and children living in communities with open defecation during the first three years of life are 11 percentage points more likely to be stunned.

In Bangladesh, there is E.coli contamination  in water in  tap as well as in pond.  In Ecuador, about a quarter of population drinks contaminated water, and in Haiti, 67 percent of people drink bad water.

Today diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children under 5. thus water and sanitation services need to improve dramatically. otherwise we are risking the future of our children, says Rachid Bennmessaoud, country director of Nigeria.

The report stressed that the services didn’t go to the poor is due to poor implementation, not due to poor policy.

 

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