“Drinking water is not a privilege, it is a basic human right. Yet every day millions of girls and boys in Pakistan are fighting a losing battle against preventable waterborne diseases and resulting malnutrition.
As March 22 marks World Water Day, theUNICEF recalls that in the areas affected by the floods in Pakistan, more than 10 million people, including children, live without access to drinking water.
This summer, Pakistan was hit by the "Monsoon Monster of the Decade". Flooding caused by heavy rains affected more than 33 million people. One in seven Pakistanis.
In the affected areas, most water supply systems have been damaged. 5,4 million people are forced to rely solely on contaminated water from ponds and wells. Among them, 2,5 million children.
Bodies of stagnant water, prolonged lack of clean water and toilets, and continued proximity to vulnerable families contribute to widespread outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dengue, and malaria.
The vicious circle of malnutrition and infection then sets in. While unsafe water and poor sanitation are the main underlying causes of malnutrition, malnourished children are also more susceptible to waterborne diseases due to already weakened immune systems.
"Drinking water is not a privilege," says the UNICEF representative in Pakistan, "it's a basic human right."
"Yet every day, millions of girls and boys in Pakistan are fighting a losing battle against preventable waterborne diseases and resulting malnutrition. We need the continued support of our donors to provide clean water, build toilets and provide life-saving sanitation services to those children and families who need them most."
World Water Day has been held on March 22 every year since 1993. A way for the United Nations to highlight the importance of fresh water. The organization recalls that in the world, 2,2 billion people live without access to safe water.
Their goal is to provide clean water and sanitation for all by 2030.