The world is not yet on track to meet Sustainable Development Goal 6: Access to safe water and sanitation for all.
Water is life. Without water, children simply cannot survive. Without basic toilets, entire communities live with human waste in their environment. Without taps and soap for handwashing, diseases spread rapidly. Young children are particularly vulnerable, and water and sanitation related diseases remain among the leading causes of death in children under five. When hospitals and health care centres do not have running water, toilets or soap, they can become disease factories. At the time of birth, this can be a matter of life or death for both mother and baby.
To celebrate, and raise awareness of, World Water Day 2018, here are 10 facts about water that might surprise you.
2.1 billion people do not have access to safe water.
For water to be safe it must be accessible at home, available when needed, and free from contamination.
4.5 billion people do not use safe sanitation, meaning a toilet that separates human waste from contact, and a system to ensure that the waste is safely disposed.
Over 892 million people practice open defecation, meaning they go out on the side of the road, in fields or bushes.
Every day over 700 children die from diarrhoea linked to unsafe water and sanitation.
Around 35% of hospitals and health centres do not have running water and soap for handwashing; 19% do not have basic toilets.
When children have to walk long distances to collect water, they often miss out on a chance to go to school. When schools don’t have toilets, girls have nowhere to manage their menstruation and may opt to skip school instead.
The changing climate is destroying, drying up and contaminating water sources. By 2040, 600 million children will live in areas of water stress, unless we act now.
There are around 117 million people in urgent need of safe water in emergencies around the world.
The world is not on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 6: access to safe water and sanitation for all. UNICEF is calling on governments to reaffirm their commitments to improve water, sanitation and hygiene access; strengthen partnerships with national statistics offices to improve collection, analysis and disaggregation of data, and reporting progress on national action.
The Sustainable Development Goal’s call for ‘safely managed’ services raises the bar for the international community. Beyond providing basic access, development agencies are now expected to address both the quality and sustainability of the services.
The world as a whole is still falling short of reaching SDG 6, and we need your support to continue providing life-saving access to clean water and sanitation.
UNICEF Canada is a Canadian NGO and represents UNICEF in Canada working tirelessly as part of the UNICEF family to ensure that children survive and thrive, and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
mars 20, 2019
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