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Water problems affect half of humanity

Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.

Almost two in three people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day, with one in three living on less than $1 a day.

More than 660 million people without sanitation live on less than $2 a day, and more than 385 million on less than $1 a day.

Access to piped water into the household averages about 85% for the wealthiest 20% of the population, compared with 25% for the poorest 20%.

1.8 billion people who have access to a water source within 1 kilometre, but not in their house or yard, consume around 20 litres per day. In the United Kingdom the average person uses more than 50 litres of water a day flushing toilets (where average daily water usage is about 150 liters a day. The highest average water use in the world is in the US, at 600 liters day.)

Some 1.8 million child deaths each year as a result of diarrhoea

The loss of 443 million school days each year from water-related illness.

Close to half of all people in developing countries suffering at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits.

Millions of women spending several hours a day collecting water.

To these human costs can be added the massive economic waste associated with the water and sanitation deficit.… The costs associated with health spending, productivity losses and labour diversions … are greatest in some of the poorest countries. Sub-Saharan Africa loses about 5% of GDP, or some $28.4 billion annually, a figure that exceeds total aid flows and debt relief to the region in 2003.

Source: Poverty Facts and Stats by Anup Shah, Updated: March 28, 2010, Accessed on July 29, 2010 (link: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats)

Filed under: Global Issues

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