Ensuring Sustainability in South Asia through Greater Access to Safe Drinking Water & Basic Sanitation
By N. ABDALLA MARTINS, A. ABDULHAMID, G. CAMARGO ALVES, M. CANSFIELD, E. CHOI, S. KADHIRESAN, B. KRISTEN, J. LESADA, M. PAUL, B. RAYBURN, E. WELI
Millennium Development Goal number seven is one of the eight development goals set forth in 2000 by the United Nations in order to address the developmental issues that have long remained stagnant in their solutions. The goal, classified as the environmental sustainability goal, encompasses a range of issues. We decided to focus our efforts on the lack of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in South Asia. After a thorough review of relevant literature, we concluded that the lack of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in South Asia is primarily aggravated by poor governmental infrastructure in conjunction with environmental and geographical factors. To raise awareness about this issue, we executed an intervention that consisted of an informative poster session followed by a documentary and corresponding discussion. Our target audience was mainly students in the Global Scholars Program and North Quadrangle residents. Despite an oversight in creating a formal evaluative system to analyze intervention effectiveness, we concluded that the intervention was holistically successful. However, its scope was narrower than its potential, and due to logistical difficulties, our impact was smaller than desired. Although we recognize that awareness is a critical component in taking steps forward, we suggest that broader interventions be made in order to address Millennium Development Goal seven in the South Asian region. Moreover, in order to directly solve the issue of a lack of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in South Asia, it is imperative that further action be taken.