The availability of clean water and sanitation must be addressed
In an increasingly globalized world where technology has transformed the very way in which we live our lives -- from Zoom calls to artificial intelligence -- it is easy to forget that, for many in Bangladesh and around the world, even the most basic needs are not met. A new report from the WHO and Unicef highlights the fact that one in four people lack safely managed drinking water in their homes, with nearly half lacking safely managed sanitation.
In Bangladesh, more than 68 million lack safe drinking water, while over 100 million lack sanitation facilities.
In our drive towards development, we have oftentimes been neglectful of the divide between those who have the privilege of high-speed internet and those who cannot wash their hands with soap and water within their homes.
With washing our hands being one of the simplest and most effective ways of fighting the spread of Covid-19, it is disheartening that we needed a pandemic to remind us to finally pay attention to the inhumane conditions in which many are forced to live their lives.
If we are serious about ending this pandemic, the availability of clean water and sanitation must be addressed. Handwashing stations are a good initiative, but not nearly enough given the scale of the problem, and our population.
With more the 60 million people across the nation lacking basic hygiene facilities, it is imperative that we massively increase investment and scale up efforts to solve this issue -- according to experts, least developed countries such as Bangladesh need to increase their rate of progress ten-fold in order to ensure universal access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation.