(WOMENSENEWS) – March has been a great month for women and water.
Let’s keep it going as we approach World Water Day on March 22.
The huge news, of course, came when the United Nations announced that the world has met the Millennium Development Goal target to reduce by half the proportion of people worldwide living without access to safe drinking water.
Not only was this target met, it was met nearly four years ahead of schedule.
This is really a big splash for girls and women. It’s often girls and women, after all, who fetch and pump the family’s water and manage crops while lacking control over household resources. Girls and women are disproportionately burdened with chores and care-giving, illiteracy, hunger and poverty.
Access to safe drinking water can help ameliorate or overcome all these challenges.
But hang on.
While hailing this accomplishment, let’s remember the Millennium Development Goal target to halve the proportion of people living without safe sanitation. This is the most off-track of all our poverty-reduction goals. The goal, to halve, by 2012, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation will not be met. By 2015, only 67 percent of the world will have access to improved sanitation facilities, not the stated goal of 75 percent of the population. Today, 63 percent of the global population use toilets and other improved sanitation facilities.
What’s clean water if sanitation isn’t there to keep it clean?
Fortunately, the U.S. Agency for International Development understands how these goals are twinned.
Read the full story on Women’s enews.org to find out what can be done regarding the sanitation Millennium Development Goal.
Also, World Water Day is almost here, but today, millions scavenge for water and billions don’t have a toilet. You can help. Here’s what you can do.