Clean Water & Sanitation

Sustainable Development Goal # 6
By: Haleema Ahmed

The Sustainable Development Goals were created at the SDG Summit in September of 2019  to achieve deliverable actionables against issues debilitating lives globally. 

Goal 6 ensures access to water and sanitation for all and whilst major strides have been made, this issue remains prominent. 785 million people still lack basic drinking water and 3 billion live without standard cleaning facilities in their homes. Access to clean water and sanitary facilities remain an incumbent part of leading a good life and remain central in removing poverty, unemployment, mortality, and gender inequality from populations. 

Whether you live in a well developed country like Canada or economically impoverished nation like Uganda, clean water is a human right. Everyone deserves the right to clean, flowing water, but with underdeveloped infrastructures and an influx of pollution, streams are often contaminated or inaccessible. 

Nations must implement these goals because they remain central in boosting their own economies and ensuring their societies prosper. Many central problems including gender inequality and child mortality are influenced by water and sanitation.

In many regions, girls and women are responsible for 80% of water collection in households, which leaves many youth unable to attain an education and build their own lives. Whilst feminist movements in the West have made major strides for voting and birth control, more pressing inequality issues like these are buried under the rug.

Each day, 1000 children die from sanitation related diarrheal diseases that would be preventable given access to sinks, closed defecation facilities, and soap. 

Fatoma Dia, a Hilton hotel cleaner originating from Sudan, works with the Global Soap Project to refurbish gently used soap bars for sanitation in Africa. Starting movements like these, in local communities, can prove paramount for another child. 

COVID-19 has magnified these sanitary inequalities. We know that washing your hands is central to preventing viral transmission, however, 3 billion people lack access to these facilities at home. 

Simple actions you can take: 

  • Keep your local water supply clean: no polluting or littering!
  • Use a reusable water bottle to protect our oceans from plastic pollutants 
  • Contribute to local water and sanitation efforts



Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all

Lack of soap means illness, death for millions of children