The right to water is really the right to life and livelihood. Just as we cannot live without water, a country cannot survive if it is water-stressed. This resource determines our future, and acts as a driving force for economic growth.
Even today, India admits to not being able to provide safe drinking water to more than half the country’s population. Poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water account for a substantial part of the disease burden in India, contributing to diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and jaundice.
We have successfully installed a BioSand Water Filter in a local elementary school where clean water is a big issue. There are more than 150 children studying at the school. In the village, children were drinking water directly from a handpump where the water was highly contaminated. We are sure that the BioSand Water Filter will help them to have clean water and a better health. A safe water supply is backbone of a healthy economy, yet it woefully under prioritized, globally.
It is estimated that waterborne diseases have an economic burden of approximately 600 million USD a year in India. This is especially true for drought and flood prone areas, which affected a third of the nation in the past couple of years.
When families do not have a safe and reliable water source, preferably direct to their home, then it is often women and children that are responsible for collecting water. School attendance in India decreases when children are required to spend hours collecting water. A 22 per cent increase in school drop-out rates has been reported in drought-affected states.
Almost 200 million students are enrolled in elementary government schools in India. It is important to ensure that these students are provided with safe and potable water to avoid the risk of bacterial infections that lead to conditions like diarrhea. Studies have shown that early childhood diarrhea is linked to absenteeism in schools, malnutrition, and even stunted growth and development.