The terms describing hygiene facilities are simpler than those for access to water and sanitation; they refer to the existence or lack of handwashing facilities and the availability of clean water and soap. Covid-19 has increased the value of these practices, which are fundamental to human health and dignity, and inaccessible to more than 2.27 billion people.
“Drylands” occupy approximately 41% of the Earth’s land surface and are home to more than 2.5 billion people. They are the most water-stressed areas globally and contain essential biodiversity for mitigating and adapting to climate change. These territories are the key to curbing desertification and ensuring the maintenance of 50% of livestock and 44% of the world’s food. Understanding the relationship between aridity and water is the first step to achieving it.
We are collaborating to bring water and create a vegetable garden for 1,000 schoolchildren whose families struggle with drought and famine in one of the most impoverished areas of Zimbabwe. These schoolchildren will be adults in 2030. The attainment of the SDGs depends on education and knowledge reaching them all. For this, they need water and knowledge.
Health systems in rural African regions suffer water, sanitation, and hygiene shortcomings. In the Senegalese Sahel, we collaborate in a project to help healthcare centers where Covid-19 has been added to diseases caused by poor water, chronic malnutrition, and the lack of medical assistance. As in the rest of the world, if we attain SDG 6, we will achieve SDG 3: guaranteeing healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages.
The terms describing sanitation facilities in relation to the objectives set out by the SDG 6 refer to the health guarantees they can provide for humans and their respect for the environment. From safely managed facilities, most of them present in rich countries, to open defecation, which affects the poorest, there is a degressive scale that provides food for thought.
A new aid project brings us closer to the plight of Honduran farmers who, more than a year after being hit by hurricanes, have still not been able to recover from the destruction of their crops and their precarious water supply and sanitation facilities. At the epicenter of Central American migration, Honduras faces a future compromised by political instability, violence, and the climate crisis.
The short Locker, by the Indian Selvaraj, was the winner in the micro-fiction category of the fifth edition of the We Art Water Film Festival. It is a powerful allegory of the situation experienced by many of the more than 1.5 billion people who lack access to water in their homes. The protagonist of the short film lives in a neglected and poor arid zone. Her life and her family depend on having access to the water rations she locks in a drawer.
Unifying the terminology established by the UN to define the SDG 6 targets better is a necessary step towards improving communication in international cooperation. Halfway to the completion of the Agenda 2030, the analysis of the meaning of current terms defining this goal clarifies the scale of the problem and shows the way to solutions.
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