September 16, 2019
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 In Access to Water and Sanitation

Country: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Delegate Name: Akshat Jain

Country: St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Delegate Name: Akshat Jain

Country: St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Committee: UN Development Program (UNDP)
Topic: Access to Water and Sanitation
Delegate: Akshat Jain
School: Forest Hills Northern High School

Water insecurity and sanitation is a major problem in today’s society. The reason being increased pollution, higher human demand, and the overuse of water. Many steps need to be taken- especially with 785 million people with no access to basic water services, more than 884 million people with no access to clean drinking water, about 2 billion people worldwide with no access to basic sanitation, and around 3 billion people lacking the adequate facilities to wash their hands at home. Furthermore, due to the constant volcanic eruptions occurring, St. Vincent and the Grenadines lacks clean drinking water. Unsafe drinking water is responsible for 1.2 million deaths each year while a lack of sanitation/hygiene is responsible for 775,000 deaths. As of right now, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, having proper sanitation is of utmost importance. About 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia. Washing hands with soap could help prevent 1 out of every 3 children that get sick from pneumonia. Although steps are being put in place to ensure this is not as big of a persisting problem, St. Vincent and the Grenadines believes in some additional measures such as increasing education and awareness of these issues, investing in new conservation technologies, and improving irrigation and agricultural water use.

Between persistent volcanic eruptions and having to collect and use “clean water” from rain barrels, St. Vincent and the Grenadines fully understands the importance of clean drinking water, and proper sanitation. In the year of 2000, 93.152% of St. Vincent’s population had access to clean water, and 18 years later, in 2018, 95.145% had access to clean water. However, the eruptions of the La Soufrière volcano completely decimated this number. While the UN has launched a $29.2 million dollar funding appeal for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it has also spread this money across countries like Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and St. Lucia. Moreover, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is still recovering from a devastating COVID-19 crisis, with 5 percent of the total population affected by this virus. On the other hand, in terms of sanitation throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines, sewage treatment consists of septic tanks for collection and treatment and soak-away systems for disposal of effluent. Many times, sewage discharges straight into the sea. The result is an extremely heavily stressed environment. Almost all coral has been killed off because of this. Since there is very little coral, the overall ecosystem is unable to regenerate the beaches with sand which is a concern in terms of plant life, biodiversity, and tourism. With all of this in mind, clean water, sanitation issues, available shelter, and a full-blast pandemic to recover from, St. Vincent and the Grenadines believes that more funding is required to help recover from these sudden and more long term events, before they become too far out of hand.

The reason these water and sanitation issues mainly exist is due to the lack of attention and lack of funding. Because water and sanitation issues are very persistent in not only St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but also in many other countries, St. Vincent and the Grenadines encourages that the UN starts programs to improve the water and sanitation issues like raising awareness, new conservation technologies, improvement of irrigation and agricultural water use, and finally, energy efficient desalination plants. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is aware that many of these programs are already in place; however, encourages that funding increases. In conclusion, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is looking for additional funding from the UN, or help from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to help with these devastating issues taking place.

Works Cited:

CDC. “Show Me the Science – Why Wash Your Hands?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019, www.cdc.gov/handwashing/why-handwashing.html.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Global WASH Fast Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019, www.cdc.gov/healthywater/global/wash_statistics.html.
“People Using at Least Basic Drinking Water Services (% of Population) – St. Vincent and the Grenadines | Data.” Data.worldbank.org, data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.H2O.BASW.ZS?end=2018&locations=VC&start=2000. Accessed 24 Nov. 2021.
“Speaking about Water Quality in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.” BORGEN, 23 Aug. 2017, www.borgenmagazine.com/water-quality-in-st-vincent-and-the-grenadines/. Accessed 24 Nov. 2021.
“St. Vincent and the Grenadines – GEF-CReW.” Www.gefcrew.org, www.gefcrew.org/index.php/participating-countries/st-vincent-and-the-grenadines. Accessed 24 Nov. 2021.
Thorsberg, Christian. “Volcanic Eruptions and Water Insecurity Persist on St. Vincent.” Circle of Blue, 22 Apr. 2021, www.circleofblue.org/2021/wef/volcanic-eruptions-and-water-insecurity-persist-on-st-vincent/. Accessed 24 Nov. 2021.
“United Nations Launches $29 Million Appeal for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Other Affected Countries as Volcano Eruption Continues.” Www.unicef.org, www.unicef.org/lac/en/press-releases/united-nations-launches-29-million-appeal-st-vincent-and-grenadines.

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