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24.07.2017 |

UN warns 2.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water

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Three in ten people around the world lack access to safe drinking water (Photo: CC0)

The world has made little progress on sanitation and drinking water, leaving 2.1 billion people without access to safe, readily available water at home and 4.5 billion people without safely managed sanitation. According to a report released on July 12th by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) this threatens to expose the world’s poorest to preventable health risks. Of the 2.1 billion people who do not have safely managed water, 844 million do not even have a basic drinking water service. This includes 263 million people who have to spend over 30 minutes per trip collecting water from sources outside the home, and 159 million who still drink untreated water from surface water sources, such as streams or lakes. There are big gaps in service between urban and rural areas. Two out of three people with safely managed drinking water and three out of five people with safely managed sanitation services live in urban areas. Of the 159 million people using untreated surface water, 150 million live in rural areas. “Safe water, sanitation and hygiene at home should not be a privilege of only those who are rich or live in urban centres,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “These are some of the most basic requirements for human health, and all countries have a responsibility to ensure that everyone can access them.” [+] more ...

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