Plumbing Needs in Third World Countries

Plumbing Needs in Third World Countries


I made myself a hot cup of tea before I sat down to write this article.  Can you imagine how much more difficult making a cup of tea is for people without access to safe drinking water?  Too many people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water.  Too many of those same people risk waste borne disease due to inadequate plumbing.  Let’s take a closer look at plumbing needs in third world countries.


There is a stark need for improved sanitation in the third world.  According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, at least forty percent of the population on earth has no or inadequate sanitation facilities.  Poor sanitation has severe consequences to human health.  Diarrhea plays a part in killing more than 700,000 babies and young children each year.  Also, chronic diarrhea leads to developmental delays in children that hamper the economic vitality of third world nations.


The situation in Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince, is an example of the dire need for improved sanitation in third world countries.  As Rebecca Herscher reported on NPR Radio, there is no sewage system in the Haitian capital.  Instead, more than three million people living in the capital city must use outhouses.  These outhouses are cleaned out in the middle of the night by workers who toil by candlelight.  The horrible consequences of the lack of proper sanitation include illnesses such as diarrhea and even cholera.


Cholera has nearly disappeared from developed nations.  Sadly, this is not the case in the developing world.  Yemen is an example of what happens when a profound lack of sanitation meets with little access to clean water.  In Yemen, years of war has led to a breakdown of waste collection in the cities.  Millions of people in the country cannot find safe drinking water.  As a result, a cholera epidemic is raging in Yemen.  The World Health Organization estimates that at least 500,000 people were sickened with cholera within the first four months of 2017.  Fortunately, health professionals have saved the vast majority of the cholera victims who can get to a medical facility.


Perhaps an even more urgent problem is the lack of safe drinking water.  As tells us, one in nine people in the third world does not have access to safe drinking water.  In some parts of the world, women spend as much as six hours a day finding and collecting drinking water.  Tragically, a child dies every ninety seconds from water-borne illness.


The obvious solution to the sanitation and water nightmare is to construct a modern plumbing infrastructure.  The developed world doesn’t worry about the scourge of water-borne illnesses and epidemics because we have adequate plumbing and sanitation systems.  Although the cost of implementing a modern plumbing system within the third world is high, the societal benefit far outweighs the initial financial investment.