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ACCESS TO PORTABLE WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENIC ENVIRONMENT

#ADVOCACYFORSTREETCHILDREN /IDSCGGHANA DAY 22

ACCESS TO PORTABLE WATER, SANITATION, AND HYGIENIC ENVIRONMENT

Water is life and vital for human nutrition and health. Water is a driver of development and plays a crucial role in alleviating poverty. However, water-related risks have graved human and economic costs and represent some of the causes of migration.

According to UNICEF and World Health Organization report in 2017 many people including children around the world continue to experience poor access to potable water, sanitation, and hygiene. Thus, some 2.2 billion and 4.2 billion people (including children) around the world do not have access to safe drinking water and sanitation (hygienic environment) services respectively.

Water and sanitation have been recognized as human rights, but this right is limited or denied to children leaving on the street and in rural communities. These children however are forced to migrate from their homes/communities to the cities to access these essential services, but the inability to also afford these services compound their situation, which in the long round render them homeless on the streets. More of these vulnerable children mostly live under unhygienic conditions in their bid for survival and are exposed to life-threatening contagion or infectious diseases of all forms (e.g. roundworm, malaria, bilharzias, cholera, etc.) whilst they stay on the streets.

Although significant progress has been made towards achieving universal access to basic water; sanitation, and hygiene, there are huge gaps in the quality of services provided for children, which street-connected children are not exempted. However, mere access is not enough, if water isn’t clean, safe to drink or is far from reach, and also access to toilet facility is unsafe or limited or not affordable to all persons.

A child without access to improved drinking water from a mechanized borehole, the pipe is forced to rely on sources such as surface water, unprotected and possibly contaminated wells, or vendors selling water of unverifiable provenance and quality. It is devastating to know the growing numbers of child mortality cases in some parts of the world, especially the deprived developing countries is caused by poor sanitation and water-related diseases.

We call on individuals, stakeholders, and the government to make policies that will protect the rights of all manner of persons including children, to enhance equal access to essentials services for all.

Access to potable water, sanitation, and a hygienic environment is a right and not a privilege.

ESSENTIAL SERVICES MUST BE AVAILABLE, QUALITY, AFFORDABLE, AND ACCESSIBLE TO ALL…