Kathmandu, March 22
Worldwide, inadequate access to safe drinking water is a greater threat to the health of children than the combined impact of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, warns World Health Organisation South-East Asia Region, which includes Nepal.
“In the WHO South-East Asia Region, inadequate access to safe drinking water is an ongoing concern. Stresses to water quality and quantity increase annually due to population growth, urbanisation, industrialisation and by associated changes in climate.
And despite recent advances, 12 per cent of rural populations and 5 per cent of urban populations continue to lack access to an ‘improved’ water source, meaning the water they consume is subject to external contamination, including from faecal matter.
This must be addressed as a matter of urgent priority. Doing so must be seen as an opportunity rather than a cost,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, chief of WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia.
A version of this article appears in print on March 23, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.