Collecting drinking water can cause serious injury and disproportionately affects women, study finds
Sanju said "I walked 2,5 kilometers a day to gather water. The sharp stones would penetrate my soils and I had a painful issue with my left hand so I concentrated on not tossing a single drop while transporting water."-Ronny Sen/ WaterAid.
Millions of people worldwide – particularly women – are at risk of serious injury every day because they have no running water in their homes and have to leave and fetch it, according to a recent survey.
As worldwide improvement in access to drinking water, millions of people will need to gather water every day to satisfy household needs.
This water catching usually includes the transport of heavy containers at home on foot, motorcycles, packaging animals and motor cars to a well, or tap water, queuing for a while.
The recent research, which has been released in BMJ Global Health, has revealed the risks facing millions, including falls, road injuries, animal assaults, and combat.
Water carriers threaten the fractured limbs, spinal fractures, lacerations, etc.
In 21 low- and middle‐income countries in Asia , Africa and Latin America , and the Caribbean, the researchers used a broad global data collection and a sample of 6,291 randomly selected households.
They find that 13 % of respondents registered some kind of accident during water gathering and that women usually have the responsibility of water capturing (72 % of respondents are women).
His key duty was to ensure that adequate water existed in the kitchen, half of respondents said.
"Why women are burdened, depending on the location, there are a number of factors," says Dr Jo-Anne Geere of the School of Health and one of the researchers of the University of East Anglia.
More and more people in the world face intense water stress
"The role of women may be conventional or in certain areas men are absent because of jobs, whereas women are more frequent in their homes with children," she told The Telegraph.
"In some countries, particularly in urban yet rural areas, this is shifting. Women have always the traditional position and have not moved away in order to work for long-distance travel."
Injuries and residing in the rural or semi-urban environment have often been strongly associated with elevated water levels and more time needed to gather water.
The most often recorded were 879 accidents, fractures and dislocations (29.2 percent) while the most reported background was dangerous ground (69.4 percent).
However, experts caution that, although strong, these statistics are likely to be undervalued, and more persons might record accidents if more specific questions were asked, like details about women's sexual assault and abuse during their water-fighting trips.
Dr Geere said, "This is likely to be underreported.
"There have been a number of undefined injury mechanisms and we have explored how to gather these details sensibly with other researchers.
"There might be certain stigma in disclosing sexual harassment at certain levels, but we think that this is probably a big problem and quite underreported in certain ways and that it is difficult to collect evidence appropriately," she added.
"Some of these areas may not necessarily provide good health and social care, and some may even not provide women's follow-up programs."
Another concern, she says, is that in some places water points are dominated by certain groups, which are then attempting to receive sexual favors or water money.
"Sometimes, it's very tough to register and track environments where it is recorded.
Researchers also found no data on the harms involved with harvesting water , leaving the topic a relatively unmeasured concern for public health.
"World water science has concentrated primarily on water shortages and health problems.
However, up until now the burden and threats of water recovery and transportation have been ignored, "Dr Geere said.
"The real pressure of water uncertainty we needed to learn more.
The Northwestern University co-author, Dr Vidya Venkataramanan, said: "While water-fishing may make a major contribution to the global burden of water, sanitation , and hygiene, it usually is unmeasured, as we usually think about access and water quality.
It is also a much undervalued, almost unseen threat to public health.
"It is really important to systematically gather data regarding the water-fetching injury so that we realize the true pressure of water vulnerability.
Actually, the water insecurity pressure is not estimated on all fractured limbs, spinal trauma, lacerations and other bodily injuries.."
The researchers claim that, in addition to the normal water quality and access initiatives, monitoring protection measures will help monitor success in achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 which states "to achieve universal and equitable access by 2030.