How polluted water is ruining villagers lives

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How polluted water is ruining villagers lives

People living in rural areas suffer from water-borne diseases for no fault of theirs. In many places, the groundwater gets polluted from the percolation of fertilizers and other chemicals or when runoff from industrial waste enters the potable water source. Such polluted drinking water in rural areas creates a whole new set of challenges for the local population.

How does polluted drinking water affect rural populations?

Persistent health issues- Contaminated water can result in the transmission of diseases like hepatitis A, typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. Compounding the problem is the lack of healthcare infrastructure in rural areas across the developing world. Those that do function are overcrowded or may not have the necessary medications or equipment to treat such health issues. Due to this, many poor rural people either borrow heavily to get treated at a private hospital or do not consult a doctor considering the high costs involved. This results in persistent health issues that could get worse over time and endanger their life.

Loss of man-hours- When you have persistent health issues, it becomes far too difficult to work regularly. There are so many cases where the sole breadwinner of the family falls sick and cannot earn the dependents their daily bread. The constant visits to hospitals or the inability to work due to poor health are directly related to polluted drinking water in rural areas.

Forced migration- People do not migrate only because of war or conflict. Lack of potable water is also a big reason for villagers to migrate to urban areas. Usually, due to repeated crop failures and no other means of livelihood indirectly linked to water pollution, most able-bodied villagers migrate for a better life in the city. Only the elderly and sick tend to remain in the village.

Poor health of pregnant women and children- As mentioned earlier, many villagers aren’t even aware of the hazards of polluted water. When they wash, cook, and clean with it, the most vulnerable to health issues are pregnant women and children. The harmful chemicals, bacteria, and fungi in polluted water affect the growth of unborn children and growing children. If nothing is done to solve this, a whole generation of children could be vulnerable to severe health problems in their lives. It is here we need to help poor in need. We can help them by giving them the necessary medical attention or helping them develop a system to reduce the pollutants in water.

Forces locals to find alternate sources of water- When people know that the local sources of water are polluted and not suitable for drinking, they have no option but to look for alternative sources of potable water. In many communities, it is the women who are tasked with the job of fetching water from the nearest water source for the family’s consumption. Sometimes, women have to walk for hours to get to the nearest water source. This wastes crucial time that could be used productively.

In the end

Polluted drinking water can affect every villager, irrespective of their social and economic status. Though the local government authorities are responsible to ensure clean drinking water for all, mostly they aren’t able to fulfill their duties due to many varied reasons. That’s where the Catholic Connect Foundation and other nonprofits help with medical aid, technical aid, and activism to ensure every poor person has access to clean drinking water. Though many of us in the cities take our supply of clean drinking water for granted, we must understand the plight of millions of people in rural areas forced to use polluted water. We must work together and help them get access to clean water in whichever way we can.

RTD admin

RTD admin

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