It is the last day of the World Cup in Qatar. The final match, Argentina vs France is a match between two big soccer nations and also between the two larger than life stars Mbappé (France) and Messi (Argentina). If you plan to watch, here is an official warning from Nazava: these kind of high level, much anticipated superfinals can be extremely boring as both teams are expected to play very carefully and wait for an error from the opposing team. Out of the 12 contests between Les Blues and La Albiceleste, Argentina has won six, France’s three and 3 matches have ended in a draw. As we learned during this tournament, access to safe drinking water and sanitation is an excellent way to predict the performance of nations on the soccer field. We will give a little bit of a country update first and then dive into the water and sanitation situation of the countries.
Argentina – basketball on horseback
In previous episodes, we already discussed how the Argentinians enjoy their beef and how successful they are at the beautiful game. As this is a cheerful blog we will not discuss the bloody Videla era nor how the Argentinian economy was once one of the hottest in the world.
Interestingly, the national sport of Argentina is not football but Pato. Pato is a form of basketball on horseback. Originally this was played with a (real) duck in a basket hence the name Pato meaning duck in Spanish.
France wants revenge after 172 years.
France blocked Argentina’s main harbor for five years because of a trade war between 1845 and 1850. After 5 years it had to give up the blockade because it was too expensive to maintain and not that effective. We are not sure if Mbappé and the others are still upset about this but it will give Les Blues every reason to finally get revenge after 172 years. Now let’s look into the statistics of SDG 6.
Is the drinking water in Argentina better than in France?
Argentina. As previously mentioned, Argentina is not reporting to the UN on their progress towards providing people access to clean and safe drinking water. Tariffs for piped water are low (read:subsidized) and those who are connected therefore use a lot of water. Around 79% of Argentinian households are connected to piped water but it is unclear if you can drink the water from the pipes. If you are Argentinian or going on a holiday there please try drinking the tap and let us know what happens.
France reportedly has 99% access to safe drinking water. However, Le Monde, a newspaper not known for gossip or frivolous journalism – reported that 20% of the population does not have access to safe drinking water. ()
Maybe that is the reason why 50% of French people do not trust or like tap water and around 8.7 billion liters of water in plastic bottles are sold every year. If you are French and picky on the taste of your water, we can ship water filters to you from the Netherlands. Saves a lot of plastic and is very cheap!
Does France have better sewers than Argentina?
In the last article we issued a warning against swimming in the Río de la Plata because of potential high levels of sewage as only 51 percent of the nation’s excrements are properly treated. The Rio de la Plata is indeed very polluted. It is common for garbage and sewage to float in the river. Although the Supreme Court of Argentina requested in 2008 an official plan to clear the river bed, little action was taken and a lot of waste and sewage is still dumped directly into the river.
The sewers of the French capital Paris date back to the year 1370 when the first underground system was constructed under Rue Montmartre. The old infrastructure leads to frequent spills into the Seine river.
Overall 79 % of French people use toilets that are connected to a proper sewage system. This is a bit lower than the other OECD countries that we have seen so far. 21 Million people are not connected to a sewer network which is almost the entire population of Australia.
Where is it easier to wash your hands? France or Argentina?
Frustratingly both counties do not report progress on SDG 6.2.1b which is driving your correspondent crazy. Hand washing is one of the most cost effective ways to reduce disease , so just report on it!.
Thanks to the research by Alan Turing institute we can see that the French wash their hands significantly less often than the Argentians
No data means no points.
Final score prediction Argentina – France: 0-2 for France