Leaving No One Behind

  • By Maung Thaung Win(ex-diplomat)
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Water gushed out of a tube-well in Magway, the arid region in central Myanmar.  Photo: Than Lwin (Magway)

The United Nations sustainable development goal No. 6 is getting purified drinking water by 2030 for the people of the world. In accordance with that principle, the motto “Leaving no one behind” has been set to materialize, but practically leaving millions of people around the world without sufficient fresh water.
Women, children, refugees, local populace and other disabled persons are sometimes ignored while trying to get drinking water. That is why authorities concerned have been coordinating on 22 March to get purified water for those ignored. In Myanmar too, arrangements are being made to be held on 5 March ( discussions on preliminary subjects) and March 6 ( celebrations , discussions and showrooms).

What does water mean?
“You survive for a week without food; but cannot survive one morning without water.” So does a saying go. That is the reason that water plays a vital role in living things.
We were taught in our school days: in chemistry, water is a combination of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom ( H2O). Furthermore, water is found as a liquid under designated temperature and pressure.
Again it is included in ice, moisture, frost , fog and clouds; 70% of earth surface is covered with water, creating seas and oceans.
How much water should
we drink?
The amount of drinking water for a man plays an important role in making the healthy body of that man. It is for that man to drink 8-10 glasses of drinking water , according to health experts. It is best for men to be able to drink 13 glasses( 3 litres) and 9 glasses(2.2 litres) for women. In any way, water is an important ingredient for a man’s health. In addition, it is an essential part of human body which is composed of 55% to 78% water, depending on its size. 73% of water is included in the brain and hearts and 83% in lungs.

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Even though calories and nutrition are not included in water, it plays a vital role in men and other living animals to survive for a long time. If a man consumes enough water, it will not only help the activities of the brain, muscles digestive systems and heart and kidneys but also to help alleviate dry skin, prevent diseases from coming into the body and balance the body temperature. By using enough water, it will reduce tiredness, fresh in mind, reduction in headaches and vomiting, easy digestion and free from constipation, reduction of body weights and toxins and relative temperature in the body is maintained.
Water especially plays a vital role in the world economic enterprises and businesses. People use 70% of water in agriculture; in the same way, availability of water is important for mills and factories.
Suffice to say, 97% of world water resources remains in seas and oceans as salt water. Yearly rainfalls, water resources in rivers, streams, lakes and underground water yield about 42.8 trillion cubic metres.
The volume of that water is four times higher than the requirements of world population.
Depending on the style of living , an individual man needs daily intake of 2000-5000 liters. 60% of clean water remains in the South Pole; the rest in the Central and Latin Americas. That might be the reason the clean is scarce in the Middle East Region.

The scarcity of water
The scarcity of water means that it fails to meet the requirement of water due to water resources. About 2.8 billion of world population are in short supply for a month every year. In addition, 1.2 billion people are in need of drinking water in that period. Water pollution, climate change, drought and floods are the main reasons to cause the scarcity of water. Worst of all, poor management on using water is also one of the reasons.
The reason of waging wars in the Middle East is not of politics but scarcity of water, some experts say. The increasing number of population is the basic cause for scarcity of water. Scarcity of water in the developing countries will be faced by 3500 million people in 2050, according to estimates of United Nations. That is why it should be systematically managed in time, or the scarcity will get higher and higher in the future.
Urbanization, industrialization and indiscriminate felling of trees are basic causes for scarcity of water. Climate change causes extreme heat, drought, heavy rains and floods and thawing of icebergs. Many of supernatural occurrences cause consequences of scarcity of water. In addition, so many tube wells are dug in urban areas to decrease underground water. Water actually plays an important role in the World Economy. Chemical wastes are thrown into rivers, streams, seas and oceans. Mills and factories use water for refrigeration and they use waterways for imports and exports of their products. Furthermore, 70% of fresh water is being used in agricultural sectors.The scarcity can be prevented by proper management of water.

Long-term management
Temperature in Myanmar has gradually increased since of onset of March. Scarcity of water in some areas during summer creates a daily problem of drinking water rather than getting fresh water. Villagers laboriously go for miles to fetch a pot or bucket of water. Domestic cattle take shelter near rivers, lakes and pools. Long-term plans must be carried out by authorities concerned for the benefits of villagers in order to get fresh water because of yearly difficulties.

Leaving No One Behind
Water is an essential thing for living animals. As it is highly valued natural resource, it must be used as the responsibility and duty of all people. Hoping the increasing world population, the water should be used according to their needs. Actions must be taken against the wasteful use of water. Rivers, streams ,lakes and pools and embankments must be maintained to retain the volume of water in them.
As men are highly intellectual, they should avoid using invaluable water foolishly; they should use water according to their needs.
In Myanmar, people face shortage of water during summer. As 70% of them are villagers, they tend to suffer severely from scarcity of water every summer. Our firm conviction is that every citizen should economize as much as he can in using invaluable water under the systematic management in good spirits of each and everyone.

Translated by Arakan Sein


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