Vulnerable communities often lack access to clean and safe water as well as safe sanitary infrastructures. Providing clean water for vulnerable communities is a necessity in order to protect them from diseases, infections, and malnutrition – all of which can lead to death. Some of the challenges of getting clean water for vulnerable communities include the following;
1.There is a lack of public infrastructures for water passage. Many pipes are damaged, dry and unable to take water to communities. The water that does get to vulnerable communities is often dirty due to the lack of upkeep of these infrastructures.
2. Transporting water manually is difficult due to the state of the roads in some vulnerable communities. Access to these communities is sometimes only possible by feet or smaller vehicles like bicycles.
3. There is also the lack of sanitary services in many vulnerable communities which encourages diseases and infections to spread.
Liberia has an abundance of rainforests, rivers, swamps, and mangroves, however, they currently lack the proper infrastructure and public service system needed to provide everyone with safe and clean drinking water. Despite these natural resources, around 42 per cent of the Liberian population practice open defecation due to the lack of water infrastructures (JMP 2017).
Around 10 percent of Liberians currently have access to clean drinking water and decent sanitation services (JMP 2017). This disparity leaves 9 out of 10 people unable to access clean water or decent sanitation services. Clean water is a necessity for all countries but especially in Liberia which just recently recovered from the extremely deadly Ebola Virus Outbreak. The availability of clean water and proper sanitation would’ve curbed the outbreak faster and resulted in fewer deaths. Ensuring the people of Liberia have access to clean water is important to fight diseases and infections that often lead to death.
The effects of the lack of water are far-reaching and evident at first glance. The Ebola Outbreak, malnutrition and high rates of diarrheal diseases all point towards unclean water. More specifically, Liberia constantly fights cholera outbreaks which are caused by dirty streams of water. To fight diseases and infections, Liberia needs clean water and infrastructures that provide clean water. The spread of diseases and infections can be combated and reduced through proper sanitation and hygiene. The lack of water makes it nearly impossible to do such things.
The lack of water and sanitary facilities also affects children trying to go to school especially the girl child. In addition to the high out-of-school rates, the absence of sanitary facilities in school discourages girls from going to school during their period because they have no cleaning facilities. As these days add up, girl children may opt to drop out since menstruation is frequent and periodic.
Water is important to fight malnutrition because clean water is needed to cook. Water is important to reduce the spread of diseases and infections because sanitary measures have been proven to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. Clean water is also important to fight diarrheal diseases like cholera.
It is important to note that Liberia does have a generous amount of water, there is simply a lack of water networks to transport the water to vulnerable communities. Through building boreholes, teaching of hygiene practices, digging of wells, and the construction of sanitation services like toilets, Ri’ayah is directly helping vulnerable communities have access to clean and safe drinking water. However, to do this on a larger scale we need more funds. Liberia has been shaped by two horrifying civil wars that destroyed many public infrastructures and a virus outbreak that killed almost 5,000 people. Liberia needs our help and through Ri’ayah you can help directly. Please donate
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