Lacking access to safe, affordable water, and safe, acceptable and affordable sanitation

Although water scarcity is an increasingly pressing issue in many areas of the world, the global crisis of water and sanitation is not caused by scarcity or population size. It is a political crisis, a crisis of unequal and unfair distribution determined by money, power and influence: rich people have access to water and sanitation; people who do not have access are invariably poor.

We have made progress in water and sanitation in recent years. But the progress is not happening fast enough. What could a shift in our ability to access safe, affordable water, and hygienic, acceptable sanitation do?

  • It could free half the hospital beds in the South and save the lives of more than 500,000 children – the number who die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation, more than the child deaths in any given year from Tuberculosis, AIDS and Meningitis combined.

  • It could free women and children from the burden of collecting water – currently women in the South spend 200 million hours a day collecting water, walking more than 6km a day carrying an average weight of 20kg.
  • It could contribute to economies – it is estimated lack of safe water and sanitation costs sub-Saharan Africa around 5% of its annual GDP.

Join our coalition today to help end water and sanitation poverty!