How Access to Clean Water Prevents Conflict

Portrait de saussier

Abstract : The number of people with improved access to safe drinking water is growing. According to UNICEF, since 1990, an additional 1.8 billion people are using an improved source of drinking water. Yet many people are living with water scarcity, particularly in Africa. The solutions highlighted here are just a few of the possible responses. Safe drinking water and sanitation in schools may serve as a way to keep girls in school, increasing their economic opportunities, and eventually, the health of their own children. Innovative ways to finance water entrepreneurs could open up an avenue for new investments and improve sustainability. Strengthening regional institutions, promoting scientific dialogue, and harnessing social capital can help to facilitate cooperation and reconciliation. Appropriate investments in water use, sanitation, and conservation are essential to reducing vulnerability among the poor, to ensuring sustainable development, and to promoting security in a period of climate change.

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