United Nations Environmental Programme
Access to Water
Federal Republic of Somalia
Hannah Mary Bhaskaran
Forest Hills Eastern High School
There is not a single living organism on earth that can survive without water. While this is a concrete fact, many people do not have access to clean water for drinking and to complete domestic tasks. The World Health Organization discovered that in 2019, 1 in 3 people globally lacks access to quality water and 4.2 billion people lack hygienic sanitation facilities. The absence of sanitation facilities and clean water can lead to malnourishment, dehydration, unhygienic living conditions, the spread of diseases, and other consequences linked to unsafe water. According to the CDC, diseases caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water conditions are the top causes of death in children under five. Somalia cares about this issue deeply as only 45% of our population has access to clean water and only 25% has improved sanitation within 10 meters (CDC).
Water scarcity is one of the leading issues in Somalia. Due to conflict with rebels, unreliable and scarce rainfall, and neglected maintenance of water sources and supply, our citizens suffer from a pervasive lack of water. Al- Shabaab, an Islamic rebel group has been preventing water and food from reaching our citizens. In 2017 our president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared a state of emergency due to catastrophic drought. Aid organizations such as UNICEF and WHO have attempted to provide resources for our people but, Al- Shabaab has seized control of many rural areas and thus access to water and food. According to the World Health Organization, 6.2 million Somalian citizens are in desperate need of food and water. Somalia receives scarce rainfall due to our desert location and arid climate. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation, Somalia only receives about 282 millimeters of rainfall annually. With humanitarian aid being prevented, our citizens are in grave danger of malnutrition, severe dehydration, and diseases from contaminated water.
Somalia proposes that the United Nations assist us with the transport and supply of water as we have many obstacles while bringing water to citizens. With the aid of water transportation and supply from the United Nations, Somalians will live healthier, longer lives. Somalia greatly appreciates the consideration of the United Nations.
- Hannah Bhaskaran