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Will Water Emergency be declared after Corona Crisis?

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

Is there a Lack of access to water as a major barrier to hand washing? Aren’t we washing hands too much? How much water is used to wash hands or how frequently should we wash hands when inside homes? Is it the Urban or the rural that has access to more water? Has anybody identified with these issues. The News headlines have grappling issues with Corona lockdowns, Migrant workers walking miles to reach their villages, Supply chain crisis, Vegetable prices hiked and Tomatoes being thrown near the lake.  

Prasanna Khemaria, SRIJAN notes in his Facebook that Social Distancing is a privilege. It means you live in a house large enough to practice access to running water. Hand washing is a privilege too. It means you have access to running water. Hand sanitisers are a privilege. It means you have money to buy them. Lockdowns are a privilege. It means you can afford to be at home. Most of the ways to ward off the Corona off are accessible only to the affluent. In essence, a disease that was spread by the rich as they flew around the globe will now kill millions of the poor and deprive them of their livelihoods. 

India has been grappling with many issues due to the climate changes recurrent droughts and floods which have to be dealt with in a sustainable manner. Individuals, organisations, governmental and non- governmental have all been working towards alleviating most of these problems and many were in the midst of finding solutions when the Corona Crisis has locked them up in their respective homes. 

Are going to run parallel along the peak summer and Corona? Monsoons are very far away and thoughts of floods returning is grappling at this point. Will the peak summer leave any water to wash your hands frequently and can we act proactively towards alleviating the health care situations. Third Pole.net the  online platform for understanding Asia’s Water Crisis reports on on  the access to safe and clean water as a prime requisite towards fighting the Covid-19 situation in India, and other water-stressed countries in the region, especially in Bangladesh. Dependent on India for almost the entirety of its transboundary river flows, the country was already planning to declare a water emergency in its northwest at the beginning of 2020, due to the fast-depleting groundwater table. 

Water stressed situations were seen in many South Indian cities like Bangalore Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram etc. The thirdpole.net also goes on to write that “If we cannot meet the core requirements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a multi-track and concerted effort with effective partnerships across social, economic, water and health sectors, the only meaning of SDGs we will be left with, would be ‘Social Distancing Goals (SDGs)’, as the new normal of our times. This is so true and we sincerely hope the availability of water needs to prioritised and we need to work towards improving  

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