Asia’s Hidden Problem: Polluted Water

Mar 31, 2019 | Asia, Indonesia, Laos, News, Vietnam

Children walking to a nearby river to get water – Laos | Asian Development Bank

In the midst of war, access to clean water remains a priority in conflict-ridden states in Asia.

While it is common knowledge that access clean water is tantamount to a human right, water pollution remains a powerful and alarming problem throughout Asia. The United Nations International Children’s Fund or UNICEF conducted its own study of in sixteen countries, including states in Asia like Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar,

The results of UNICEF’s research is alarming: children under the age of fifteen are more likely to die from lack of access to clean drinking water than from other circumstances, like outright poverty, hunger, and war. To say that access to clean water is more problematic than war speaks volumes of the scale of the problem itself.

Community Water Services - Indonesia

Community Water Services – Indonesia – Asian Development Bank

Water during war

In states where there is civil conflict like Yemen, emergency access to clean drinking water is a priority, as dehydration and disease easily follow where children can’t drink clean water. What is more alarming here is that the World Health Organization’s data reveals that there are over eighty thousand deaths resulting from lack of access to clean water.

The biggest culprit is diarrhea, which has killed more children younger than five than any other medical condition. Children are more likely to succumb from dehydration because they retain water less effectively than adults.

And if you add to the equation the fact that these children are in territories in conflict, one can easily imagine why access to clean water is so important. The response to insufficiency in clean water is not consistent, but there is some movement.

Humanitarian aid

For example, Watts Water Technologies, Inc. recently built a water filtration system in India to help supply clean water to needy families and children in the country. Watts’ effort began a few years earlier when it associated with Planet Water Foundation.

With the combined effort of helpful companies and the Planet Water Foundation, the organization has been able to bring clean, drinking water to more than 13,000 in different countries, including China and the Philippines in Asia. The effort continues globally to supply clean, drinking water to vulnerable communities. Clean, drinking water is defined as water that is free from potentially harmful sediments, bacteria, viruses, parasites and other harmful microorganisms that cause disease.

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