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Why is Access to Clean Water Important?


Clean Water

“And Allah has created from water every living creature.”

[Al-Quran 24:45]

Water is vital for life. It is indispensable to human existence. There is no possibility of survival in the absence of water. In the Muslim faith, water and the charity of water have been given huge importance. There are many references to water in the Noble Quran, which emphasises the significance of water in sustaining life on Earth.

“Allah is the One who created the heavens and the earth and sent down water from the sky, then brought forth with it sustenance for you from the produce, and subjugated for you the ships, so that they may sail in the sea with His command and subjugated for you the rivers.” [Al-Quran 14:32]

The above verse mentions the life cycle, natural resources, and economic development that are dependent on them. It is important to understand the wisdom hidden in such verses and act to save the environment from harm to avoid climate extremes and related effects.

Access to Clean Drinking Water

Access to clean drinking water is everyone’s fundamental right. However, in the light of relevant research, it is a dream for many. Clean water organisations provide alarming figures on how many people don't have access to clean water. According to the World Bank, two billion people are living without access to safe drinking water. One in three people globally does not have access to safe drinking water (UNICEF, WHO). World Health Organisation further states that 4.2 billion people are deprived of safely managed sanitation. Another three billion are suffering from the absence of basic handwashing facilities.

Impact of Poor Sanitation and Water

Clean water and sanitation are crucial for the survival and economic growth of any community. The shortage of safe drinking water exposes the individuals of an area to waterborne disease. It affects the health and capabilities of the population, making it harder for them to gain physical and financial independence. It results in drastic consequences for growing children who struggle to develop at the expected rate because of contracting illnesses in infancy. The danger to children implies less hope for a better future.

Poor sanitation is equally responsible for the spread of infectious diseases. Living in unhygienic conditions means living without safe toilets or necessary washing facilities. It consequently results in the spread of bacteria. Apart from this, it affects the well-being and independence of girls and women in a community. The lack of privacy for using toilets causes anxiety in girls and increases risks of violence, sexual assaults and missed school and work opportunities.

Diseases Caused by Dirty Water

Dirty water and unhygienic sanitation facilities are responsible for causing many preventable diseases like cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio. In the absence of safely managed drinking facilities, clean toilets and good hygiene practices, many people face the risk of contracting infectious and harmful diseases. This could be avoided by ensuring the availability of clean water and sanitation in deprived communities.

Charity Meals is a clean water charity working to provide safe drinking water to families and schools in disadvantaged areas. It is also working in many countries to build clean toilets. You can support their work by donating to them or by volunteering for Charity Meals.

Clean Water and Sanitation Problems and Solutions

Economic shocks, natural disasters, war, and climate change lead to conditions responsible for the global crisis of water scarcity. Substantial world-wide efforts are required to deal with this colossal challenge. Well-known organisations, mainly the UN Development Programme, have put forward some measures and goals to help the issue. Some of these include the following:

  • Providing adequate infrastructure.
  • Encouraging better hygiene practices.
  • Ending open defecation by providing clean toilets.
  • Implementing integrated water resources management.
  • Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers, and lakes.
  • Strengthening the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management.
  • Water harvesting, desalination, water use efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies.

Dirty Water Treatment

In developed countries, water is treated before it is supplied to homes, schools, and offices. To ensure it is safe for drinking, it needs to be free of germs, solid particles, and unpleasant smells. For this purpose, water is treated through a careful cleaning process. Every region or company has its own way of processing this. Common parts of the water cleaning process include screening, chemical addition, sedimentation, filtration, and chlorination.

Charity Meals’ Projects for Clean Water and Sanitation

International organisations are undertaking much work to improve water and sanitation facilities. Charity Meals is one of the charities that provides clean water and sanitation services in deprived areas. Some of our relevant projects include providing safe water to schools and families, building a toilet, constructing a tube well and building a deep water well. The donation packages start from £30 for distributing safe water. Building a toilet costs £240, and water well prices start from £300. You can support water sanitation and hygiene projects by donating to Charity Meals today.

The Prophet (SAW) was asked: Which kind of charity is best? He said: “Providing water”.

[An-Nasai 3664]