Drinking Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

Drinking Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

The UN suggests that each person needs 20-50 litres of water a day to ensure their basic needs for drinking, cooking and cleaning.
Source: World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

In 2010, 89 % of the world’s population, or 6.1 billion people, used improved drinking water sources, exceeding the MDG target (88 %); 92 % are expected to have access in 2015. By 2015, 67 % will have access to improved sanitation facilities (the MDG target is 75 %).
Source: WHO

Between 1990 and 2010, two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources and 1.8 billion people gained access to improved sanitation facilities.
Source: WHO

11% of the global population, or 783 million people, are still without access improved sources of drinking water.
Source: JMP 2012

Globally, diarrhoea is the leading cause of illness and death, and 88 per cent of diarrhoeal deaths are due to a lack of access to sanitation facilities, together with inadequate availability of water for hygiene and unsafe drinking water.
Source: JMP

The provision of improved sanitation and safe drinking water could reduce diarrhoeal diseases by nearly 90 per cent.
Source: JMP

Today 2.5 billion people, including almost one billion children, live without even basic sanitation. Every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of poor sanitation. That’s 1.5 million preventable deaths each year.
Source: WWDR, 2012


In Sub-Saharan Africa, treating diarrhoea consumes 12 percent of the health budget. On a typical day, more than half the hospital beds in are occupied by patients suffering from faecal-related disease.
Source: WSSCC

Washing hands with soap can reduce the risk of diarrhoeal diseases by up to 47 per cent.
Source: WHO

The first ever global handwashing day was celebrated on 15 October during the International Year of Sanitation.
While the percent of population with access to improved facilities increased since 1990 in all regions, the number of people living without access has increased due to slow progress and population growth. In 2008, 2.6 billion people had still no access to improved sanitation facilities.
The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target is to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015.
Source: World Bank

Resourcing of the water, sanitation and hygiene sector is relatively low priority compared to other sectors. In many countries, policies and programmes underemphasise adequate financing and human resource development to sustain the existing infrastructure and to expand access to sanitation, drinking-water and hygiene services.
Source: UN-Water: GLAAS, 2012

Overall, the number of cholera cases for the decade 2000–2010 increased by 130 %.
Source: WHO, 2010

With increasing populations living in peri-urban slums and refugee camps, as well as increasing numbers of people exposed to the impacts of humanitarian crises, the risk from cholera will likely increase worldwide.
Source: WWDR, 2012

63 % of the global population use toilets and other improved sanitation facilities.
2.5 billion people lack improved sanitation.
1.1 billion people (15 % of the global population) practice open defecation.
949 million open defecators live in rural areas.
Source: WHO 2012

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