Thursday, March 22, 2018


More than 800 million people need to travel and queue for at least 30 minutes to access safe supplies of water. Collecting water raises the risks of disease. Children are often the victims, with close to 289,000 dying each year from diarrhoeal illnesses related to poor sanitation.

Eritrea, only 19% of the population have basic access to water. It is followed by Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia, all of which have rates of between 37% and 40%. 

In Niger, only 41% of the poorest people have access to water, while 72% of its wealthiest do. In neighbouring Mali, 45% of the poor have access to water, compared to 93% of the rich.

“Inequality in access to water is growing primarily as a result of a lack of political will,” said Lisa Schechtman, the director of policy and advocacy for WaterAid.

Jonathan Farr, WaterAid’s senior policy analyst said, “Those marginalised by age, gender, class, caste or disability, or living in a slum or remote rural community, are hardest to reach and will continue to suffer as long as governments do not prioritise and fund access to water for all, and while disproportionate use of water by industry and agriculture continues.”

The UN earlier this week forecast that 5 billion people could face shortages for at least one month a year by 2050.

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