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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:

  • 2.4 billion people across the world don’t have somewhere safe to go to the toilet (WHO / Unicef)

  • 1 billion people don’t have access to any sanitation at all and openly defecate (WHO / Unicef)

  • There are 46 countries where at least half the population does not have access to proper sanitation (WHO)

  • 748 million people lack access to clean, safe drinking water (WHO / Unicef)

  • Poor sanitation is one of the world’s biggest killers: it hits women, children, old and sick people hardest

  • Every day, about 1,400 children under the age of five die of illnesses linked to unclean water and poor sanitation. That’s more than half a million a year – or about one a minute (Unicef)

  • Diarrhoea is the second biggest killer of children under five worldwide (CHERG)

  • More than half of primary schools in developing countries don't have access to water and sanitation. Without toilets, girls often drop out at puberty (Unicef)

  • The lack of a loo makes women and girls a target for sexual assault as they go to the toilet in the open, late at night. Many get bitten by snakes as they squat in the grass

  • In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking to collect water. Women and girls carry two-thirds of this burden

  • Poor water and sanitation result in economic losses estimated at £153 billion annually in developing countries, or 1.5% of their GDP (Unicef)

  • For every £1 spent on a water and sanitation programme, £8 is returned through saved time, increased productivity and reduced health costs (UNDP)

  • In 2000, 189 countries signed up to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. The sanitation target for 2015 is currently way off-target and may not be met in sub-Saharan African for another 150 years

 

Did You Know...

The lack of a loo makes women and girls a target for sexual assault as they go to the toilet in the open, late at night

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