For weeks, authorities in South Africa have been urging citizens to wash their hands well and regularly.
Unfortunately, last year, according to the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan – a government department – over five million families (approximately 20 million people) did not have access to a regular supply of clean water and few hygiene products were available to them.
Other alarming content of the plan includes: 35% of public water is lost every day due to leakage due to wear and tear of the pipelines; 44% of the water treatment plants are in poor or critical condition and another 11% are dysfunctional.
Lately, the government has committed to delivering water to 2,000 local communities that don’t have any. But this may not be enough.
On 15 April, Amnesty International South Africa launched the campaign, Right To Water: Turn On The Tap and called on the government to urgently ensure that everyone has access to sufficient, safe and reliable water as a protection measure against COVID-19 and as a reality for everyone, always.
Before the outbreak of the pandemic, the government had promised to achieve the target of reaching 100% access to water by 2030. Now, it is impossible to wait so long.