07 March 2007
One Safe water and sanitation are fundamental to human development yet over a billion people live without a safe and reliable water supply and half the population of developing countries without proper sanitation.
Two A single toilet flush is more water than most people in developing countries use in a day for drinking, washing, and cooking.
Three A lack of clean water close to home robs people of time, health and opportunity. 443 million school days are lost each year to water-related diseases and African households spend an average of 26 percent of their time fetching water.
Four Since 1950, the world population has doubled while water consumption has increased six-fold. Agriculture now accounts for about 80 percent of the world’s water use.
Five If you don't use soap when washing your hands, you haven't got rid of the dirt. Poor hygiene is a major cause of diarrhoea disease. In many parts of the developing world diarrhoea is a killer, claiming the lives of over 5,000 children every day.
Six The River Nile is the longest river in the world, shared by ten countries, and is home to some of the poorest people in the world, with a combined population of 600 million.
Seven A small snail carries a water-bourne disease called bilharzia, which mostly infects people through their feet when they walk in wet areas.
Eight Blair latrines and Bush pumps were designed in Zimbabwe....VIP toilets in Zimbabwe are called Blairs....
Nine In the UK, in the 1880s the establishment of proper sanitation contributed to a 15-year increase in life expectancy in the following four decades. No wonder the British Medical Journal recently voted the flushing toilet as the most significant medical advance in the past 100 years.
Ten It would cost about an extra £5billion each year until 2015 to reach the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the proportion of people without access to safe water and sanitation. That’s about half the amount rich countries spend on bottled water each day.
Sources: End Water Poverty campaign and UNDP Human Development Report, 2006.
There are several things you can do to be part of the solution to the global water crisis.
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