Accessing Water is a Human Right


One right that is absolutely essential to the existence of human life is the access to clean and safe water. Many people are unaware of the dire need for water all around the world and why people are unable to access it. Two billion people worldwide consistently struggle with obtaining safe water. Water is essential to maintain good health, escape from poverty, get an education, and receive necessary nutrition.

People need water in order to bathe properly, and hydrate sufficiently. They also need it in order to construct many meals as water is frequently used when cooking. Drinking from, cooking with, or bathing with contaminated and unclean water sources is harmful and can lead to disease and illness. When individuals are malnourished from a lack of safe food and water, learning and focusing on school can be extremely difficult. The task of collecting water in places where it is difficult to access can also often fall on young girls, who must spend their day obtaining water, rather than learning. Without a proper education, many people remain in poverty and the cycle of water insecurity continues.

Some reasons that people cannot access water are that they are refugees, their local environment is being harmed, they are living in poverty, or living in an area of war. Those who are refugees or living in war torn areas are often not permitted water. It can be used as a weapon against groups of people by targeting pipelines, putting concrete in wells, shutting down electrical systems that provide water, contaminating water, and stopping humanitarian workers from accessing those in need. Refugees, especially the current Syrian refugees, are often not given humane treatment in their new country of residence and therefore not supplied with the water that they need to survive. Those in poverty also frequently are unable to obtain clean water because of the high cost. Finally, clean water is dependent upon a healthy environment. In areas where large amounts of deforestation has occurred, water is commonly polluted with harmful chemicals.

There are plentiful reasons why safe water is not accessible to all, but it is a human right that should be respected and acknowledged by all governments and people.