Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, marginalized communities don’t have access to water

02/04/2020
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09:27
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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, marginalized communities don’t have access to water
How can people protect themselves and prevent the spread of the virus if they don’t have access to water? - Photo: Yann Avril/EL UNIVERSAL

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, marginalized communities don’t have access to water

02/04/2020
09:27
Mexico City
Editorial
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Mexico has declared a health emergency after registering a surge in coronavirus cases

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Health authorities agree that the main tool to fight COVID-19 is hygiene, especially constantly washing your hands with soap and water. But how will Mexicans face the pandemic if they lack water supply? This is a challenge that has been present for a long time but no administrations have been able to solve it. 

The problem worsens with the presence of a deadly virus and the need for essential hygiene measures required to fight it. Besides the health emergency, the hot weather increased the demand and consumption of water, as well as by the surge in gastrointestinal disorders, which are common during this time of the year.

Federal authorities insist on the need to constantly washing your hands to prevent the risk of contracting the virus but this contrasts with the reality faced by thousands of Mexicans who haven’t had access to water for years or those who have had scarce water supply for years? In Mexico City alone, those who inhabit marginalized communities often demand water supply to cover their basic needs and have been forced to take drastic measures to be heard. 

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The current crisis and health emergency sparked by COVID-19 highlights the lack of basic services for some people. According to officials numbers released by the INEGI, a fourth of Mexican homes lack normal water supply, and only have access to it half of the time or once a week. Moreover, over 2 million homes completely lack the service and its inhabitants are forced to look for water in rivers, wells, dams, lagoons, and public water outlets.

Water is essential during these challenging times, especially when the crisis demands to clean every object and contact surface, which work as a vehicle for coronavirus and other bacterias. Therefore, asking people to wash their hands often but failing to guarantee water supply is illogical and a problem that must be solved as soon as possible. 

It’s urgent for all Mexicans to have a water supply if the government wants to prevent a catastrophic situation, not only because of the potential epidemiological risks but also for hygiene. 

Recommended: Live Updates: COVID-19 death toll in Mexico

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