The head of the Roman Catholic church, Pope Francis, says access to clean water is a basic human right. The pope made the comment ahead of a water management conference.
The World Health Organization says 2.1 billion people worldwide lack access to safe, readily available water at home.
No water, but no shortage of arms, says pontiff
Pope Francis says the fact that so many do not have access to clean water and often die from unhealthy water “is an immense shame for humanity in the 21st century.” He goes on to say that corruption and economic interests too often take precedence of the need for clean water and that in countries where people do not have clean water there is no shortage of arms and ammunition.
Lack of safe water for Indigenous communities
Canada has its own long-standing problems with clean drinking water. Several Indigenous communities lack clean water and have been under boil water advisories for decades. Successive Canadian governments have vowed to improve the problem but it persists in many communities.