News: "World Water Day": One billion people without clean water.

Sudan 2006.2 095 constance lewanika

Today is World Water Day. This annual event highlights the need for clean water and proper sanitation. Let's have a closer look...

FACT: More than one billion people throughout the world have little choice but to drink from potentially harmful sources of water. 2.6 billion people have no access to proper sanitation. (International Red Cross)

FACT: The consumption of unsafe water results in diarrhoea, worm infestation and other water and sanitation-related diseases. (International Red Cross)

FACT: About 200 million tonnes of human waste are discharged untreated into watercourses every year -- exposing people to bacteria, viruses and parasites. (International Red Cross)

FACT: On a typical day in sub-Saharan Africa, half the hospital beds are occupied by people with faecal-borne diseases. (UN)

FACT: Poor sanitation, hygiene and unsafe water claims the lives of an estimated 1.5 million children under the age of five every year. (International Red Cross)

FACT: Every dollar spent on improving sanitation - ranging from digging latrines or building sewers - has $9 in benefits such as higher economic growth or lower hospital bills. (UN)

FACT: In 2002 the world set a Millenium Goal to be reached by 2015:"Halve the estimated 2.6 billion -or 40 percent of the world population- with no access to sanitation.". To reach this goal, the world would need to spending $10 billion a year. We are no-where near. (UN)

Read more in the Water for Life brochure

The top picture is an extract from the photo-story Water for the Toposa in South Sudan.

water for life

Top picture: A South Sudan water project, courtesy Constance Lewanika (WFP). Bottom picture courtesy UN (Water for Life)

Source: International Aid Workers Today


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