The Role Of WASH In Economics
If you have come across terms like, “this WASH consultant…, the impact of poor WASH conditions…,” and are wondering what these terms mean, here is a brief overview.
Water, sanitation, and hygiene – the three terms are collectively called the WASH. The interdependence of sanitation and hygiene on water and the severe lack of all the three in developing countries is the reason that these fields have been grouped together under the common heading called WASH.
For the socio-economic development of any region, the presence of clean and safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene is a must as this will reduce the incidence of illness which in turn will lead to areduction in poverty.
Lack of WASH can negatively impact the physical and cognitive growth of children; it will lead to absence from schools due to diarrhea and other water borne illnesses. This will lead to illiteracy and thus will begin a vicious cycle of poverty, illness, and disease. The absence of WASH will also reduce productivity in the women folk and prevent the girl child from attending school as she will spend more time in procuring water.
There are several organizations which have realized the importance of WASH and have increased funding for these programs.Organizations like UNICEF are in the forefront and working hard to bring about a change. They are scouting for innovative methods and means to provide safe water. The organization also works tirelessly to prevent contact of human waste with people to ensure basic sanitation.
Thus, we see that WASH not only affects the health and education of several vulnerable and disadvantaged children but also plays an important role in the economic growth of a region. By providing access to safe drinking water and sufficient sanitation and hygiene the rate at which diseases spread will diminish which in turn will save several billion dollars spent in treatment while simultaneously generating productive man hours.