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This resource is intended as a source of information, case studies and task suggestions for teaching and learning about water and sanitation across several curriculum areas and units.
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It can be easy to forget how important water is. Across most of Australia, at the turn of a tap we have instant access to clean drinkable water.
It is easy to forget how important access to sanitation facilities is. Across most of Australia we have access to safe, clean and private facilities.
Water is essential to life. Sourcing it and collecting it is not an option.
Water means food security. Water means health. Water means safety and security. Access to water and sanitation is necessary to develop other areas of a healthy life.
Yet structural and economic injustice has resulted in unequal access to a God given resource.
Over the past century, unclean water, poor sanitation and unsafe hygiene practices have claimed more lives than anything else.
1,000 children die each day due to preventable water and sanitation related diarrhoeal diseases which could be prevented by improved Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH).
443 million sick days are taken by children every year due to WASH related diseases.
1 in 3 schools lack access to water and basic sanitation.
In 2017, 151 million children worldwide under age 5 suffered from stunting. One of the main cause is WASH-related diseases like diarrhea that prevent the proper absorption of nutrients from food.
4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines.
Goal 7 of the MDGs was to ensure environmental sustainability, including halving the proportion of people without access to safe water and sanitation between 2000-2015. Global action has led to positive results.
In 1990 MDG GOAL
76% of the global population used improved water sources 88%
54% of the global population used improved sanitation facilities. 77%
WATER GOAL MET IN 2010
91% of the world’s population now access improved sources of drinking water.
X 8 /10 people in the world who live in rural areas are still without a source of improved drinking water
X 663 million people still lack access to improved drinking water sources.
SANITATION GOAL MISSED
X Only 68% of the global population now uses improved sanitation facilities (Goal was 77%)
ü2.1 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation since 1990
X 2.4 billion people still lack improved sanitation facilities.
Use this interactive tool from the World Health Organisation to analyze progress on water and sanitation for different countries between 1990-2015.
In 2015, the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were released.
These are 17 goals for everyone, everywhere, aimed at achieving three extraordinary things in the next 15 years:
In 2014-15, Caritas Australia worked with local communities to provide better access to safe and sustainable water.
Thandolwayo would then go to school feeling exhausted. Her hope to be a nurse seemed almost impossible to realise, until Caritas Hwange helped the village to install two solar powered pumps and two 10,000 litre water storage tanks. The pumps draw the water up from the river to the storage tanks.
Thandolwayo can also concentrate on her education. Water is also being used to mould bricks, with plans for a community garden and fish pond to generate better income.
“Hope is important because it makes me work harder,” Thandolwayo says.
Caritas Australia’s mission is to work towards a world that God desires to be just and compassionate.
Together our WASH programs contribute to improving the health of communities through promoting the growth of nutrition crops and through reducing illnesses. With your support, these initiatives also provide marginalised communities with a greater sense of empowerment, and hope for the future.
This is something to rejoice in.
You can raise awareness and funds to improve access to water and sanitation by hosting a Caritas K’s Walk for Water. Click here to find out more!
This resources was last updated February 2019.
For more resources please visit https://www.caritas.org.au/resources/school-resources/
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