The Problem:Right now, 663 million people on the planet don't have access to clean, safe drinking water.Nearly half (319 million) of all people using unimproved drinking water sources live in sub-Saharan Africa.More than 340,000 children under five die annually from diarrheal diseases due to unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation and hygiene – that is almost 1,000 per day. Of those still using unimproved drinking water sources, those who use surface water face the greatest risks to their health and well-being. Rural populations are particularly disadvantaged, accounting for 93% of the people using surface water. Seven out of ten of the 159 million people relying on water taken directly from rivers, lakes and other surface waters live in sub-Saharan Africa, eight times more than any other region.Contaminated water can transmit diseases such diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Contaminated drinking-water is estimated to cause 502,000 diarrheal deaths each year.In low- and middle-income countries, 38% of health care facilities lack any water source, 19% do not have improved sanitation and 35% lack water and soap for handwashing.Women and children in rural parts of Africa spend hours every day walking for water, taking valuable time away from earning an income, receiving an education, and taking care of the family.
The Progress:91% of the global population uses an improved drinking water source, up from 76% in 1990. 2.6 billion people have gained access to an improved drinking water source since 1990. While this is tremendous progress, sub-Saharan African still needs our help.In sub-Saharan Africa, 427 million people gained access to an improved water source – an average of 47,000 people per day for 25 years!Although Ethiopia's access to safe drinking water has improved from 14% in 1990 to 57% in 2015, there are still 42 million Ethiopians without access to safe water. Of the 42 million Ethiopians who are not using improved water supplies, an estimated 33 million people are residing in rural areas.
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Resources:Click HERE to download the Progress on Sanitation & Drinking Water Report: 2015 Update and MDG Assessment by UNICEF and World Health Organization (WHO).Sources: www.wssinfo.org, www.who.int, www.unwater.org