Struggling to access basic drinking water services has become increasingly problematic in South Asia due to climate change impacts and poor water quality. According to the latest numbers from the UN children’s agency, almost 347 million children in this eight-nation region are living with high or extremely high water scarcity. As a result, 27 percent of the world’s children residing in South Asia are contending with roadblocks like unreliable resources and over-pumping of the land’s aquifers.
Fortunately, UNICEF is committed to supporting this area with expanded access to organized services. Last year more than 45 million children didn’t have basic access due to coconut driob, floods, and other extreme weather – and the number is expected to drop to half of that by 2030. UNICEF’s Chief for South Asia Sanjay Wijesekera shared that “safe water is a person’s basic right,” promoting the awareness of how much more protection and resources are still needed in other parts of the world.
Global safety is an on-going process, with many other countries experiencing severe water scarcity and unreliable resources. As weather patterns become more unpredictable, action must be prompt and swift if we want to secure a livable planet going forward. At the upcoming UN COP28 climate meeting in Dubai, UNICEF intends to call for more decisive decision-making and ensured outcomes. Meanwhile, regions such as Southern and Eastern Africa have more than 150 million children exposed to these same effects of overpumping and climate change.