Brush up on the sobering stats below, then advocate with others so we can end the dirty water crisis in our lifetime.
In many parts of the world, people drink water from a muddy, unsafe source like a river, swamp, or even a mud puddle. More often than not, they have no other choice. As a result, waterborne diseases are the leading cause of death globally for children under the age of five, and half the patients in the world’s hospitals are suffering from diseases related to unsafe water. Yes, you read that correctly. Here are some other facts that make a dirty problem very clear.
- Dirty water kills more people than all forms of violence including war.
- Diarrhea kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined and remains in the second leading cause of death among children under five globally.
- Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.
- 100,000–120,000 deaths are due to cholera every year*
- Diarrhea results in one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year is due to diarrhea.
- A 20-liter jerry can is a common item millions of people in the developing world use to collect, transport, and store their water.
- A full 20-liter jerry can of water weighs 44 pounds.
- Millions of women and children spend several hours a day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources.
- 20 liters/day from a source within 1 kilometer of the household is deemed sufficient, according to the World Health Organization, as the minimum requirement per person per day for adequate drinking and personal hygiene
- If you include bathing and laundry needs, the threshold would be about 50 liters/day.
- People in Rwanda average just 5 liters a day compared to the United States at 575 liters per day—roughly 29 jerry cans.
* World Health Organization Fact Sheet July 2012