According to UNICEF, nearly 2.1 bn people globally experience the problems of not having enough clean water for drinking and performing daily activities, such as cooking, bathing, and cleaning. What makes the statistics even more concerning is that a huge majority of the global rural population depends on its women to carry water from the nearest water source back to their homes.
Why This is a Problem
The core problem lies in the unavailability of clean water, primarily, and the unavailability of clean water supplies within homes. Water is a basic human right, and is mankind is extremely on it for not just development, but also survival. Personal hygiene and healthy standards of living can be achieved when a home receives clean water on a regular basis. On the other hand, the use of unclean and chemically unsafe water can cause serious problems, including intestinal worms, trachoma, diarrhea and related illnesses, along with more severe problems such as stunted growth. The problems arise when the local water supply for rural areas, which is usually a nearby natural freshwater resource, gets contaminated with chemicals such as lead and arsenic.
Time Lost in Grunt Work
In the daily life of a rural woman, collecting enough water for the day is easily the most time consuming task. According to UNICEF, nearly 263 mn people do have access to clean drinking water, but need to spend a lot of time waiting in queues to get it. However, a massive 159 mn people still take their water from nearby rivers, lakes, streams, or ponds, all of which are currently considered extremely unsafe.