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Lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation traps people in poverty. Their health suffers and the prospect of developing economically remains far out of reach. Here are some of the hard facts:

  • Almost 900 children die every day from diseases caused by not having a proper loo or clean water. That’s one child every two minutes. (Water Aid)
  • Every minute a newborn baby dies from infection caused by a lack of safe water and an unclean environment. (WHO, 2015)
  • Almost 1 billion people go the toilet outside, in the open or behind a bush (Opendefecation.org)
  • Diarrhoea is the third biggest killer of children under the age of five in sub-Saharan Africa. (opendefecation.org)
  • Every minute, 1.1 million litres of human excrement enters the River Ganges. (opendefecation.org)
  • Lack of access to sanitation, including the practice of open defecation, costs the poorest countries £207 billion each year. That's almost double the amount the world gives in aid money to help low-income countries develop.
  • In 47 countries, less than half the population has a proper toilet. (WHO)
  • Only half the people in sub-Saharan Africa wash their hands. (WHO/Unicef 2015)
  • In Africa, most people use 20 litres of water a day at most – roughly what we use if we run a shower for 90 seconds. (waterwise.org.uk)
  • Every day, 2 million tons of sewage and other wastewater drain into the world's waters. (UN)
  • Children worldwide miss a total of 443 million school days a year because of dirty water or poor sanitation. (UN)
  • People spend the equivalent of two-and-a-half days a year trying to find somewhere safe to go to the toilet. (World Bank)
  • For every pound invested in water and sanitation, there is a £4.30 return in the form of reduced health care costs for individuals and society around the world. (UN)
  • 663 million people live without safe water. (Water Aid)
  • Nearly half of all people using dirty water live in sub-Saharan Africa, and one fifth live in Southern Asia. (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2015)
  • Globally, 31% of schools do not have clean water and 34% lack adequate toilets. (UNICEF, Advancing WASH in Schools Monitoring, 2015)

 

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