A report recently issued by the United Nations Institute of Water, Environment, and Health underlines Pakistan’s fragile condition in terms of water security. According to the research, Pakistan is one of 23 nations that are “critically water insecure.”
Based on the UN University’s Global Water Security 2023 Assessment, 33 nations from three separate regions have attained water security, yet all regions contain countries with inadequate levels of water security.
The study presents a holistic analysis of the condition of water security in 186 nations affecting 7.8 billion people. The findings are concerning, considering 78 percent of the world’s population (6.1 billion people) now lives in water-stressed areas.
More than half of the world’s population lacks access to clean drinking water and sanitation, and more than 70 percent, or 5.5 billion people, do not have access to safe water. With only 15 percent of the region’s population having a source of clean water, Africa has the lowest access rates. Three out of every four people currently live in water-stressed nations, including Somalia, Afghanistan, and Yemen.
Sweden, along with many other European countries, is ranked as the most water-secure country in the survey. The paper highlights that a plentiful natural water supply does not guarantee water security.
Africa has the world’s lowest levels of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services, which contributes to the region’s poor levels of water security. Roughly 31 percent of people in the 54 African nations lack access to basic drinking water facilities, while 82 percent do not have access to a decent sanitation system.
The report concludes that thorough and reliable water quality evaluation at the national level remains a difficulty, as home wastewater treatment remains very inadequate in Africa, significant portions of Asia-Pacific, and most South American nations. The situation is not improving, with an increase in WASH-related mortality in 164 countries compared to prior estimates.