Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in. There is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. But due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.
An integrated approach to human health and water resources management is urgently required.
Below you will find 10 images that depict the struggles people face and the progress that is being made in gaining access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation services.
1. Water is Life
783 million people do not have access to clean water. (Source: UNWATER.org)
2. Dharavi living
The Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India is the largest slum in Asia and is home to over 1 million inhabitants. The people living here face severe problems including outbreaks of disease due to a lack of clean water and sanitation facilities.
2.4 billion people (1 in 3) on this planet lack access to a toilet. (Source: water.org)
3. Lifestyle in Cambodia
A young woman in Cambodia smiles to the camera as she gathers water from the nearby river. This contaminated water is her family’s only water resource and is used for drinking, cooking and bathing.
In developing countries, as much as 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions. (Source: thewaterproject.org)
4. Drinking Water
A nice moment captured here as a young boy tries to cool down with some water on a hot summers day in Guam.
By 2025 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity. (Source: IFAD.org)
5. Toxic River
By @JerryMcBride/The Durango Herald
Last year a toxic spill from a mine contaminated water flowing down the Animas River in Colorado into the San Juan River through Utah and New Mexico.
Around 70% of the industrial waste is dumped into the water bodies where they pollute the usable water supply. (Source: ConserveEnergyFuture.com)
6. Improvements in Myanmar
Children enjoy washing their hands and splashing each other at a communal water point in a school in Myanmar.
For every $1 invested in improved water supply and sanitation yields gains of $4 to $12, depending on the type of intervention (Source: WHO)
7. Kibera Slum
Two young girls tirelessly carry water on the train tracks that run through Kibera Slum in Nairobi, Kenya.
The UN estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water; the same as an entire year’s labour in all of France.
A young boy looks down at a small pool of water in an area surrounded by arid lands.
Roughly 1/3 of the population of India is affected by drought with some parts facing massive water shortages. (Source: drought.gov)
9. Fetching Water
A curious boy takes a break from collecting unsafe drinking water from a local stream in Ghana.
The Ghana Coalition of NGOs in water and sanitation revealed that Ghana loses about USD290 million yearly as a result of poor sanitation and bad hygiene.
10. Drinking from a trough
In Ethiopia, families travel up to 10 hours to find water stations. The water is hot and salty as the children drink from the same trough as the animals.