The denial of safe drinking water for Indigenous Peoples is a social disparity that must end – National Observer

January 5th 2023

For over a decade, I’ve worked in humanitarian relief. I’ve witnessed global disasters and assisted with response, relief and sustainable solutions.

All humanitarian work should be rooted in a commitment to social justice, and I believe access to clean water is the most fundamental social justice issue, above and beyond challenges like extreme poverty, food scarcity, gender inequality and many others.

In 2022, the United Nations launched a #JusticeBeginsHere global campaign to promote access to clean water for all and calls on individuals and organizations from all walks of life to overcome structural disparities in water and sanitation.

Poverty alleviation is inextricably linked to access to clean drinking water because it enables communities to provide education and build economies and agriculture for trade and sustenance.

According to UNICEF, over 700 children under the age of five are dying daily from diseases linked to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene. Many more children regularly miss school because they are too ill to attend, compounding levels of inequality in already disadvantaged communities.

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