We're Lucky to Have the Water We Have!
- Improved water management has brought enormous benefits to people in developing countries. In the past 20 years, over 2.4 billion people have gained access to safe water supplies and 600 million to improved sanitation.
- Nevertheless, one in six people (1.1 billion) still have no regular access to safe drinking water.
- More than twice that number (2.4 billion people) lack access to adequate sanitation facilities.
- Those without access to adequate sanitation are the poorest and most vulnerable. The problem is particularly severe in remote rural and rapidly growing urban areas.
- In Africa, 300 million people – 40 percent of the population – live without basic sanitation and hygiene, as increase of 70 million since
- As much as 90 percent of waste water in developing countries is discharged without treatment into rivers and streams.
- Unsanitary water, which provides a breeding ground for parasites, amoebas and bacteria, damages the health of 1.2 billion people a year.
- Water-borne diseases are responsible for 80 percent of illnesses and deaths in the developing world, killing a child every eight seconds.
- Half the world’s hospital beds are occupied by people suffering from water-borne diseases.
- Almost 40 percent of the world’s population lives within 60 kilometers of the coast. Disease and death related to polluted coastal waters alone costs the global economy US $16 billion a year.
- In Southern Asia, between 1990 and 2000, 220 million people benefited from improved access to freshwater and sanitation. In the same period, the population grew by 222 million, wiping out the gains that had been made.
- During the same period, in East Africa, the number of people without sanitation doubled to
- The cost of providing safe drinking water and proper sanitation to everyone in the world by 2025 will be US $180 billion a year, two to three
times greater than present investments.