Cleaning your hands is one of the best ways to avoid and stop the spread of COVID-19, but what if the water that runs in your faucet is unclean? This is what some people in the USA are experiencing in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak causing them more difficulty in their fight against the disease.

Bedford, South Carolina, USA, residents complain about the yellowish to brownish discoloration in their tap water making them doubt of its cleanliness and safety. Some residents have to drive 20 miles to Black Ville, South Carolina, USA to get water they feel is safe to use.

Another city in USA that is experiencing water problem is Detroit Michigan, which has long standing water issues. Some low-income residents of the city didn’t have running water even before the outbreak. In the USA alone, there are 2-million residents who don’t have running water in their homes.

These cases are only small part of the bigger problem. If the great USA, a first world high-income country, experience water issues then how much more the low-income countries such as Ghana and Kenya in Africa where droughts are common? There are about 2 billion people around the world who don’t have safety managed water services at home making them more prone to being infected with COVID-19.

Water is essential in hydration, food production, sanitation, and hygiene. A lack of access to clean water leads to significant problems especially to health. It can cause dehydration, malnutrition, and diseases such as Ebola which caused 11,300 deaths in 2013-2016 Africa outbreak and now COVID-19 which continues to kill hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. In addition, contaminated water can cause waterborne diseases like cholera and amebiasis.

Sufficient water is a key determinant in preventing and controlling diseases. Now that we are facing a life-threatening pandemic, people who lack access to clean water are at high risk from getting infected and spreading the virus. Handwashing is the most basic and one of the best precautionary measures to fight against COVID-19.

This is why governments and international organizations such as WHO (World Health Organization) and UN-Water (United Nation Water) work together to speed up the provision of clean and safe water in areas with insufficient water supplies. They build drinking water stations and handwashing facilities to high-density public places in an effort to protect as many people as possible from the disease. They also encourage people to observe social distancing and to stay at home to prevent the spread of the disease.

Everyone is afraid of getting infected with COVID-19. For those of us who are fortunate enough to have easy access to clean water we should comply with the World Health Organization’s advised which are: to wash our hands as much as possible, and stay at home when we don’t have important errands to go outside. Billions of people are deprived of these basic protections as they necessarily have to go outside to get access to water. They know the risk but don’t have the choice.

Author's Bio: 

Isabella Whitmore is a health enthusiast and supports organizations that aim to promote public health and safety. She likes volunteering for community service projects and writing articles about health, households, and family. You can find some of her work at, an appliance website that offers quality electric kettles which are helpful in ensuring clean water for the family.