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A Billion People Lack Clean Water

A Billion People Lack Clean Water

By Marietta Gross - Scoop Media Auckland.

Scoop Report: More than one billion people worldwide source their drinking water from polluted founts, springs or rivers, reported the organization UNICEF on the UN's “Day of the Water” on March 22nd.

Every day more than 4000 children die due to diseases which can be traced back to contaminated water. Also 2.6 billion people, almost half of world’s population, have to manage without sanitary facilities such as latrines and sewage disposal.

A lack of clean drinking water and of hygiene were the main causes of the high infant mortality in many countries, said Reinhard Schlagintweit, chairman of UNICEF Germany.

About 400 million children were supplied with less than 20 litres of water per day. That means one in every five child would have to cope without the absolute minimum every human needs to drink, cook and use for hygiene.

South-Saharan Africa is worst affected, with 43 per cent of the population lacking clean drinking water. Every fifth child of the region dies before it becomes five years old. In Asia the supply with clean drinking water is not sufficient. UNICEF states in China 288 million people are affected, that is equal to the whole African continent.

Rural people often face a worse situation than people in cities.

The health risk, due to a lack of latrines, was though much higher in the slums of big cities, cites the report.

Improvements globally have been noted: the number of humans who are provided with enough drinking water has risen to 83 per cent of the world’s population, up from 77 per cent in 1990. Nevertheless, UNICEF says the struggle to improve the earth's water shortage must continue.

It states that even modest hygienic measures could save lives: by washing your hands with water and soap reduces the incidence of diarrhoea diseases by 40 per cent worldwide. At the moment 1.8 million children beyond the age of five years die every year from preventable diseases associated with unsanitary water.

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