By Chidiebere Aguziendu

  Source: Vinoth Chandar

With the coronavirus pandemic currently threatening communities around the world, researchers across the globe are actively pursuing an effective treatment regimen and a vaccine, which could be more than a year away. While we wait for a vaccine, there are a few things we can do to try to slow the spread of the virus. Study after study has shown that handwashing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of the disease, COVID-19 included.

Why is handwashing so significant? Because germs are most commonly transferred from one surface to another by hands. Research has indicated that COVID-19 can live on surfaces for up to three days. Therefore, to prevent the spread of this deadly virus, it is essential to practice impeccable hand hygiene. Unfortunately, this basic defense against COVID-19 and hundreds of other illnesses is unavailable to millions of people who lack access to safe water.  

We all know that water is vital to human existence. We can’t live more than a few days without it, but it goes far beyond that. Water is essential for cooking and more importantly, for hygiene. However, in many parts of the world, access to clean water is far from a given. Millions of people around the world do not have safe water to drink, let alone to use for hand washing or cleaning utensils.

The outbreak of the coronavirus is a reminder of the importance of easy access to clean water. Water scarcity is a global problem that requires urgent action, now more than ever.