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Posts Tagged ‘water-related illnesses’

Today is World Water Day

Posted by feww on March 22, 2010

Water Issues: Scarcity and Pollution

A sever drought is affecting about 60 million people in SW China. Well that’s less than 1 percent of the world population, you could argue.

But another 60 million people are severely affected by a drought in the Mekong Basin, which is threatening not just their livelihood, but their survival.  The water flows are the lowest  for 20 years, warns the Mekong River Commission (MRC). The drought has an impact on agriculture, food security, access to clean water and river transport.

Drought conditions are so severe in parts of Africa most women have to walk five miles per day, carrying just enough water for drinking and cooking in large containers placed on their head.

Of Africa’s 53 nations, only 10 countries have adequate drinking water. In Uganda alone, more than 10 million people have no access to clean water.

More than a billion people have NO access to safe water and about 2.5 billion people live without adequate sanitation. About 55 percent of “developing world’s” population are  suffering from at least one major illness  related to unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Each day, at least 6,000 children die of waterborne diseases including diarrhoeal diseases and malaria.—UNICEF


Mwamanongu Village water source, Tanzania. In Meatu district, Shinyanga region, Tanzania, water most often comes from open holes dug in the sand of dry riverbeds, and it is invariably contaminated. Credit:  Bob Metcalf

Unsanitary water is responsible for 80 per cent of all illnesses,  and is world’s number one killer, UN says.

The UN also states that unsanitary water is responsible for 1.5 million cases of hepatitis A (and 133 million cases of intestinal parasites).

According to the world bank, waterborne illnesses are each year responsible for:

  • 4 billion cases of diarrhea, killing more than 6 million people.
  • 300 million cases of malaria
  • 200 million cases of schistosomiasis
  • 6 million people are blinded by trachoma ( 500 million people who are currently at risk of contracting the disease).

Bottom line

As of  March 2010

  • One in five people on this planet have no access to clean water.
  • One in ten people is experiencing a severe to a moderate drought.

Every year, nearly 11 million children die before reaching their fifth birthday, most from preventable causes. That is approximately, 30, 000 children per day. Another 300 million children suffer from illnesses caused by lack of clean water, poor nutrition and inadequate health services and care. —UNICEF

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