Access to potable water, sanitation still unsure for many in PH
A report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on the global water supply showed that some 42 percent of the country’s population still lack a reliable access to potable water.
In its situationer on the Philippines, the report also noted that 4 out of 10 Filipinos, or 37 percent of the population, had no access to sanitation facilities, while 10 percent had shared bathrooms among communities and 3 percent defecated out in the open.
It also found that 18 percent of the population did not observe basic hygiene, while 9 percent of the rural population and 4 percent of Filipinos in urban areas had no soap and water.
In contrast to the country’s figures, access to safe drinking water among global households rose from 69 percent in 2021 to 73 percent in 2022; good sanitation, from 49 percent to 57 percent; and basic hygiene, from 67 percent to 75 percent.
Yet despite those gains, about 2.2 billion around the world still lack potable water in their homes, while 3.4 billion had no access to sanitation facilities.
Around 2 billion have no soap and water in their homes to clean themselves.
“Achieving universal coverage by 2030 will require a sixfold increase in current rates of progress for safely managed drinking water, a fivefold increase for safely managed sanitation and a threefold increase for basic hygiene services,” the UN report said.
The report also noted that women and girls worldwide are more likely to bear the burden of inequalities in terms of access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
It found that women and girls are the ones who make longer journeys to fetch water, losing time in education, work and leisure.
This, in turn, exposes them to physical injury and other risks.
Women age 15 and older collect water in 7 out of 10 such households, while men and boys only fetch water in 3 out of 10 homes.
The report also showed that more than 500 million worldwide share sanitation facilities with other households—which compromises women and girls’ rights to privacy, dignity and safety.
In 51 countries, women and adolescent girls in the poorest households are most likely to be deprived of access to a private place to wash and change, the report said.