President's Message - March 2022
March 2022
Dear Rotarians.
Rotary International’s monthly theme for March is focused on Water and Sanitation.
Water and Sanitation is part of the United Nations Social Development Goals (SDG) and is the 6th out of 17 goals.
Unsafe Water Sources are responsible for 1.2 million deaths each year
Unsafe water is one of the world’s largest health and environmental problems – particularly for the poorest in the world.
The Global Burden of Disease is a major global study on the causes and risk factors for death and disease published in the medical journal The Lancet.
Lack of access to safe water sources is a leading risk factor for infectious diseases, including cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio.  It also exacerbates malnutrition, and in particular, childhood stunting.
According to the Global Burden of Disease study 1.2 people died prematurely in 2017 as a result of unsafe water. To put this into context: this was three times the number of homicides in 2017; and equal to the number that died in road accidents globally
Assessing Access to Water & Sanitation:
It is common for many international organisations to use access to safe drinking water and hygienic sanitation facilities as a measure for progress in the fight against poverty, disease, and death. It is also considered to be a human right, not a privilege, for every man, woman, and child to have access to these services. Even though progress has been made in the last decade to provide safe drinking water and sanitation to people throughout the world, there are still billions of people that lack access to these services every day.
In 2020, almost three-quarters (74%) of the world population had access to a safely managed water source. One-in-four people do not have access to safe drinking water. 
Sanitation Facilities:
According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, in 2015, only 68% of the world’s population used improved sanitation facilities, with Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia having only 30% and 47%, respectively, an estimated 2.4 billion people are still without improved sanitation. About 13% of the world’s population lives without any form of sanitation and practice open defecation.
Access to sanitation is measured by the percentage of the population with access and using improved sanitation facilities.
Access to Water in Thailand:
As of 2017, Thailand has already taken steps towards achieving a number of Social Development Goals 6 (SDG6)  indicators.  98% of the population of Thailand has access to “improved drinking water” and 93% has access to improved sanitation. In line with this, the Thai Government’s 2017 Voluntary National Review (VNR) reported that “almost 100% of households have access to safe and affordable drinking water, as well as sanitation facilities.” Additionally, Thailand has been able to reduce infant mortality rates and reduce water-borne diseases as a result of policies which require all levels of government to provide clean water and sanitation in their jurisdictions, and to reach a level of quality in line with national standards for drinking water quality.
The Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin has in its history engaged in various water projects, however not all of these have been successful, often through lack of robust project plans that looked beyond the initial phase of providing clean water.
Many Rotary clubs focus on both local and global projects to provide clean drinking water especially in African, Asian and Central American countries that have high instances of access to both clean water and sanitation.
With the data provided, my view as President of the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin is that our focus should remain on providing and supporting sustainable education, which still remains a far higher problem here in Thailand and has grown over the last two years because of school closures resulting in home learning through the Covid-19.
As always you the members have a voice in our club, and your views what projects we undertake is valuable, and suggestions would always be considered by the Board of Directors.
Yours in Rotary.
Phil Lawrence
Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin.