This is roughly one in ten of the world’s population. Without safe water children die needlessly from diarrhoea, women and girls waste hours collecting water limiting their income and education, and communities remain trapped in a cycle of poverty and disease.
But WaterAid – a non-governmental and non-profit organisation dedicated to improving access to safe water in the world’s poorest communities – is trying to change this by raising awareness and funds to set up practical and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene products that meet the needs of the world’s most marginalised communities. And you can help.
WaterAid Australia is conducting their first annual Water Challenge this coming March, coinciding with World Water Day on the 22nd March 2016. By participating, you’ll help spread the WaterAid message, to achieve the goal of everyone, everywhere having safe water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030.
You can choose to Just Drink Water for 14 or 30 days, or, get active and Walk for Water, with the goal of walking 10,000 steps between the 14th and 20th of March.
Here, WaterAid share four facts on global water inequality that everyone should know…
1. Over 2.3 billion people don’t have access to adequate sanitation – that’s one in three of the world’s population. Many people have no choice but to face the indignity of going to the loo in the open, where they are exposed to disease and vulnerable to harassment and even attack.
2. Around 315,000 children under-five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. That’s 900 children per day. Diarrhoea is the second biggest killer of children under five years old worldwide and the third biggest killer of children under five years old in Sub-Saharan Africa.
3. Hygienic practices such as washing hands with soap can reduce the risk of diarrhoea by 50%. Hygiene promotion is the most cost effective health intervention according to the World Bank.
4. Women in Africa and Asia often carry water on their heads weighing 20kg, the same as the average UK airport luggage allowance.
Visit Water Aid to sign up for the Water Challenge here.