Humanity’s Rights to Water
May 30, 2012
May 30, 2012
Humanity’s Right to Water
For the past five thousand years, humanity has been using water without any problems at all. However, as we step into the twentieth-first century, you may think that through the technological advances of the modern world, everyone should have equal access to clean water. The truth is, with the seven billion humans alive today; over one billion people lack the access to adequate clean water according to the World Health Organization. Humanity is currently dealing with a global water crisis that leaves billions without access to safe drinking water. Air, food, and water are the most fundamental needs of the human species — and none of these are indicated as absolute rights for the entire population of Earth. As a result, if we are going to work towards a future that enables humans to possess certain rights, we must first consider these biological needs as their undeniable foundation. Therefore, humanity should be recognizing water as one of our fundamental human rights.
Throughout much of the developing world, the absence of clean drinking water is a common sight. Hence, it is particularly noticeable of how the need for safe and sanitary water impacts people’s quality of life. In accordance to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.2 billion people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water, and a further 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation services. Moreover, these numbers are expected to rise. The United Nations have estimated that by the year 2025, 2.8 billion people in 48 countries will be living in conditions of water stress and scarcity. As for now, millions of people living in water shortage and sanitation situations are affected by a wide range of water-borne diseases. Inadequate water is accountable for one tenth of the world’s disease burden, and that six percent of all deaths such as from diarrhea could be prevented by universal access to safe drinking water and better sanitation. The World Health Organization estimates that 3.5 Many of the world’s children like Ayshah Faqir in the picture above do not have access to clean drinking water. How do you think people’s quality of life is affecting while living under these conditions? million people die every year from these preventable water-borne diseases. Poor sanitation, water, and hygiene conditions also have its affect in developed worlds. Currently in Canada, 112 aboriginal communities are living under drinking water advisories that require them to boil their tap water, or avoid drinking water completely due to contamination. The Government of Canada is failing its obligations to protect and fulfill water in aboriginal communities and even some non-aboriginal and rural areas. The most severe incident occurred in the Walkerton Tragedy in May of 2000. As a relatively small community in Ontario, Walkerton has its water supply contaminated by a highly dangerous strand of Escherichia coli bacteria as a result poor management of the water sources. Consequently, this led to at least seven fatalities and thousands of cases of illness. The United Nations states that the water and sanitation crisis have claimed more lives through diseases than any war have claimed through guns. Humanity should no longer tolerate the devastating problems having no access to clean water brings to us. In order to have a healthy standard of living to meet humanities’ most basic needs that allow them to exercise other rights, water must first become a universal human right. People should not suffer and be denied from acquiring their most basic and essential needs for survival. If it is true that bottled water is just as clean as those found in your tap at home, why do some many people still buy them? Is it because from the advertisements such as “bacteria-free” or “natural spring water” that makes...
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