It is simple to ignore the most fundamental and important aspects of human life in the quickly changing world of today, when development and progress are frequently gauged in terms of economics. Among these, having access to clean water and sanitation is an absolute necessity for maintaining one’s health, dignity, and well-being. Tragically, however, millions of people over the world still struggle every day to obtain these essentials, depriving them of the chance to live a respectable and healthy life.
This proposal aims to solve this urgent problem by acknowledging that having access to clean water and sanitation is a basic human right, not just a privilege. It aspires to lay out a thorough strategy to guarantee that everyone, regardless of socioeconomic level or geographic location, can take advantage of this fundamental right, enabling them to live honorable lives that promote health, education, and economic growth.
Access to clean water and sanitation is not just a basic human necessity, but it is also necessary for the realization of several other fundamental rights. The importance of having access to clean water and sufficient sanitation is specifically mentioned in Goal 6 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” This goal underlines the critical role that access to sanitary facilities plays in reducing inequality, alleviating poverty, and promoting overall community wellness.
However, despite global efforts to improve water and sanitation infrastructure, significant disparities persist. As of the last available data up to September 2021, approximately 2.2 billion people lacked access to safely managed drinking water services, and over 4.2 billion people lacked access to safely managed sanitation services. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of proper sanitation and hygiene practices in preventing disease transmission, further underscoring the urgency of addressing this issue.
In many parts of the world, marginalized and vulnerable communities, including women and children, continue to bear the disproportionate burden of inadequate water and sanitation services. This not only perpetuates cycles of poverty but also violates their fundamental human rights.
The right to clean water and sanitation has been recognized internationally, notably through the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 64/292, which explicitly recognizes “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights.” Numerous other international conventions and agreements, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, have also affirmed this right.
This proposal seeks to build upon these international commitments and frameworks by outlining a comprehensive strategy to ensure that access to clean water and sanitation is not only recognized as a fundamental right but also implemented effectively, leaving no one behind. By addressing the root causes of water and sanitation disparities and proposing practical solutions, we aspire to usher in an era where every individual, irrespective of their circumstances, can lead a dignified life with access to clean water and sanitation at its core.