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Contaminated water is linked to transmission of diseases.
Contaminated water is linked to transmission of diseases.

2.1b Lack Safe Drinking Water

2.1b Lack Safe Drinking Water

Three in 10 people worldwide, or 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home, and 6 in 10, or 4.5 billion, lack safely managed sanitation, according to a new joint report by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
The report presents the first global assessment of “safely managed” drinking water and sanitation services. The overriding conclusion is that too many people still lack access, particularly in rural areas, WHO said in a report on its website.
 “Safe water, sanitation and hygiene at home should not be a privilege of only those who are rich or live in urban areas,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general. “These are some of the most basic requirements for human health, and all countries have a responsibility to ensure that everyone can access them.”
Billions of people have gained access to basic drinking water and sanitation services since 2000, but these services do not necessarily provide safe water and sanitation. Many homes, healthcare facilities and schools still lack soap and water for hand washing. This puts the health of all people – in particular young children – at risk for diseases, such as diarrhea.
As a result, every year, 361 000 children under 5 die due to diarrhea. Poor sanitation and contaminated water are also linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, and typhoid.
 “Safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene are critical to the health of every child and every community – and thus are essential to building stronger, healthier, and more equitable societies,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “As we improve these services in the most disadvantaged communities and for the most disadvantaged children today, we give them a fairer chance at a better tomorrow.”
Of the 2.1 billion people who do not have safely managed water, 844 million do not have even a basic drinking water service. This includes 263 million people who have to spend over 30 minutes per trip collecting water from sources outside the home, and 159 million who still drink untreated water from surface water sources, such as streams or lakes.
In 90 countries, progress towards basic sanitation is too slow, meaning they will not reach universal coverage by 2030.
Of the 4.5 billion people who do not have safely managed sanitation, 2.3 billion still do not have basic sanitation services. This includes 600 million people who share a toilet or latrine with other households, and 892 million people – mostly in rural areas – who defecate in the open. Due to population growth, open defecation is increasing in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania.
Good hygiene is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of diseases. According to the new report, access to water and soap for hand washing varies immensely in the 70 countries with available data, from 15%  of the population in sub-Saharan Africa to 76% in western Asia and northern Africa.

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