How many people lack access to clean water?
There is a difference of opinion when it comes to how many people lack access to clean water.
According to the World Health Organization, 785 million people worldwide lack access to a basic drinking-water source. Because of this startling statistic, every year 297,000 children die from water-related issues. These deaths are preventable with safe water and sanitation.
Lack of hygiene and sanitation is also creating issues in the goal of clean water. Open defecation causes water to be contaminated. Around the world, at least 2 billion people have a water source that has been contaminated with feces.
It is also important to note how long people walk to get to water. The World Health Organization estimates that 90% of the world’s population utilized at least a basic service. This means that an improved drinking water source is available within a round trip of 30 minutes. Oftentimes, women and girls are responsible for walking to retrieve water. When they are required to walk miles for water, this restricts their availability for education and employment.
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All statistics in this article are taken from “Drinking Water Fact Sheet.” World Health Organization. 2019. https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water