Clean drinking water protects life and enables equal opportunities

The corona crisis has changed our relationship with water. The fact that we wash our hands more often and longer than before is part of our new everyday life. Imagine if you didn't have access to clean water. For most people in the global north, such a scenario is unimaginable. In other parts of the world, however, the problem is very real and shapes everyday life.

In parts of sub-Saharan Africa in particular, millions of people have no or only limited access to clean drinking water and basic sanitary facilities that enable them to maintain basic hygiene. Four out of ten people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to clean drinking water, and more than every second person has no way of using simple sanitary facilities. This not only has serious consequences for the health of the population in which infectious diseases such as COVID-19 can spread rapidly. The lack of access to clean water is also devastating for economic development. Water scarcity and lack of access to clean sanitary facilities are detrimental to economic development.

Clean water as protection against infectious diseases

Improving access to drinking water and safe sanitation is one of the United Nations' goals for sustainable development. In this context, WASH is often used, which stands for the terms water, sanitation and hygiene. These aspects are closely linked and influence one another.

No available toilets and therefore no sewage supply means that the groundwater is being polluted. This favours infectious diseases. In addition, adequate hygiene is hardly possible without clean water. Even seemingly small changes make a big difference: Those who can wash their hands not only with clean water, but also with soap, are at lower risk of contracting diseases.

Coronavirus is transmitted through touch and aerosols. People who do not have the opportunity to wash their hands regularly are less able to protect themselves from transmission. This ensures that the number of infections increases, more people suffer from severe courses and the inadequate health infrastructure in many places quickly collapses.

If you have access to fresh water and soap, consider yourself lucky. Two in five people worldwide do not have this available to them in their immediate surroundings.

Access to clean water creates equality

Water also increases equality of opportunity within the population and can help reduce gender inequality. In many parts of the world, lack of access to safe water hits women and girls particularly hard. In sub-Saharan Africa they spend a total of 16 million hours a day procuring water for cooking and cleaning. Men, on the other hand, only spend six million hours a day doing this.

Time needed to get water is not available for other things. As a result, women and girls often do not have enough time to take advantage of educational opportunities or to have a paid job. For girls, a lack of clean sanitary facilities and fresh water is a problem for other reasons as well. When they have their periods, they often do not attend class because the facilities there are unclean and do not offer them adequate privacy. Sanitary towels or tampons are usually not available to them.

Alpine White is committed to social justice and equal opportunities

For us at Alpine White, it goes without saying that we contribute to more social justice in the world. That is why we support the non-profit organisation WASSER FÜR WASSER (WfW), which has set itself the goal of sustainably changing the way we use water. WfW advocates safe access to drinking water and sanitary facilities for all people. WfW also helps to raise awareness of the importance of fresh water.

In cooperation with local organisations, WfW carries out projects in economically disadvantaged urban areas of Zambia and Mozambique. In Zambia, the water sector is being strengthened through drinking water and vocational training projects. In Mozambique's capital, Maputo, the work of WfW focuses on sanitary and community hygiene projects. This can systematically improve the WASH situation. The goal: Clean drinking water and clean sanitary facilities for everyone. 

Thanks to WfW, thousands of people have already been given access to clean drinking water. Hundreds of kilometres of water pipes have been laid and more than 400 women and men have already been given vocational training in the water sector in order to sustainably strengthen local structures.

With every product that you buy from Alpine White, you are supporting WfW and standing up for more equal opportunities.


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