Can Sanitation be Improved by “Trees?” - “Upstream watershed condition predicts rural children’s health..."


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Can Sanitation be Improved by “Trees?”

Can Sanitation be Improved by “Trees?”

Despite great strides in improving access to water and sanitation, some 3 in 10 people worldwide, or 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home, and 6 in 10, or 4.5 billion, lack safely managed sanitation, according to a new report by WHO and UNICEF (Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and Sustainable Development Goal baselines).

According to the WHO press release ( ), safely managed drinking water and sanitation services means drinking water free of contamination that is available at home when needed, and toilets whereby excreta are treated and disposed of safely.

Basic services mean having a protected drinking water source that takes less than thirty minutes to collect water from, using an improved toilet or latrine that does not have to be shared with other households, and having handwashing facilities with soap and water in the home.

With such an uphill task of having improved sanitation and access to sanitation, could it be possible that nature can come to the rescue and improve sanitation?

A recent study “Upstream watershed condition predicts rural children’s health across 35 developing countries,” says so, in a way. The study, available at , says that more trees at water sources improve sanitation and lead to fewer children dying from diarrhoea in poor countries. Increasing the number of trees by a third near the source of watersheds in rural areas could improve water and sanitation. Forests and other natural systems can complement traditional water and sanitation systems, and help compensate for a lack of infrastructure, a hallmark in many developing countries, including Pakistan

F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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