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The climate crisis threatens water and sanitation

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  • The climate crisis threatens water and sanitation
  • 4.2 billion people live without safely managed sanitation services.
  • 673 million people still defecate in the open.
  • 17.2 million people displaced by climate in 2018.
  • Up to 143 million people could become internal climate migrants by 2050, 86 million in sub-Saharan Africa, 40 million in South Asia and 17 million in Latin America.
  • According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), international migrants reached 258 million in 2017, which represents 3.4% of the world population.
  • Floods and other disasters related to water represent 70% of all deaths related to natural disasters

About the entity

We Are Water Foundation
We are a non-profit organisation, set up in 2010 with the aim of contributing to the resolution of problems derived from the lack of water and sanitation in the world.
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Each 19th November, the We Are Water Foundation celebrates World Toilet Day with the aim of reminding of the need to take measures that provide a response to the global sanitation crisis.

The data to monitor compliance with the SDGs highlight the need for much faster progress on SDG 6 "Ensuring water availability and sustainable water management and sanitation for all". If nothing changes, only 40 out of 152 countries are on track to achieve "near universal" basic sanitation by 2030.

The Climate Crisis will lead to an increase in extreme meteorological phenomena and will directly affect health infrastructures and water supplies, making it difficult to attain said goal. It is estimated that during the next decade, more and more people will be displaced due to disasters and climate change.

Moreover, water and climate change are inextricably linked, as the effects of climate change start to manifest through water in the shape of droughts, floods and storms. These disasters can destroy toilets and water supply systems, leaving behind polluted waters that endanger the lives of millions of people.

The World Bank report Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration, alerts on the negative consequences of these phenomena in some of the most vulnerable areas of the planet such as sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America. These areas will present the greatest demographic growth in the next few decades and they are key for the balance of mankind. On the other hand, the report provides worrying forecasts: up to 143 million people in these areas could become internal climate migrants by 2050, 86 million in sub-Saharan Africa, 40 million in South Asia and 17 million in Latin America.

In conclusion, society must rethink a series of issues related to inequality, the cleanliness in cities, sustainability and the impact on climate change. Administrations and institutions in general should row in the same direction in order to find solutions to deal with the proliferation of extreme phenomena that affect and will periodically affect different areas of the world.