The water crisis has been looming in countries all around the world for decades, worsening with time. It’s literally been the elephant in the room that kept getting bigger and bigger. However, now it’s filled nearly the entire room, and for some, there’s barely space to keep moving forward.

Without water, the risk of infections and pathogens increases, and even though the coronavirus has nothing to do with water-derivative infections and pathogens, it’s highlighting the water crisis more than ever before. There’s a lack of water in places on every continent in the world, but in South Africa specifically, the lack of access to water in communities seems unimaginable.

A Petition for a Basic Human Right?

Currently, 20 million people lack access to safe running water and proper sanitation in South Africa. Due to Covid-19, this issue has particularly been highlighted. The Minister of Human Settlements for water and sanitation has received an Amnesty International petition to get those in charge to tackle the problem at hand. The petitions state the need for transparency of the water issues faced by a third of the country’s residents.

The petition also ensures that all access to water must be sustained, not only during the pandemic but should also after it. Just because water is required now for washing hands and cleaning products, surfaces, or maintaining social distancing, doesn’t mean it isn’t equally important for residents of the country moving forward. Besides that, having clean and reliable drinking water is a basic human right that must be respected, which is why it must be sustained for the future. The petition calls for the government to take accountability for residents that lack access to basic needs, like water.

Xhanti Payi, an economist, recalled that the outbreak of the virus infections in South Africa exposed all the inequalities in the country’s society, with one of the biggest inequalities being a lack of water, a basic human right.


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