844 million people in the world – one in nine – do not have clean water close to home.

2.3 billion people in the world – almost one in three – do not have a decent toilet of their own.

289,000 children under 5 die each year due to diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That’s 800 a day, or 1 child every 2 minutes.

844 million people don’t have access to clean water. Without this basic service, they have no choice but to drink dirty water that could kill them.

Why is this happening?

Can you imagine life without safe water to drink? For millions of people it's a daily reality.

Everyone everywhere needs a safe and sustainable supply of water: for drinking, washing, cleaning, cooking and growing food. It’s a basic human right.

Governments around the world have not done enough to ensure safe water reaches the poorest and most marginalised people in society.

In many countries around the world, taps, wells and pipes simply don’t exist. Even where they do, they are often not affordable for the poorest people or are not designed to last.

Women and girls suffer the most. They are forced to walk long distances to collect dirty water, wasting their time and energy. This means they miss out on an education, lack the opportunity to make a living, and have little chance to change things. They are also more likely to get sick with water-related diseases.

Find out how we tackle these issues in Our approach.

A woman looks at the camera with an open door of a house in the background.

How it affects people

A man and his wife sitting outside their house

Everest Ngirukwayo, Rwanda

Everest Ngirukwayo, 48, sitting outside his house with his son Innocent Twagira, 15, who is recovering from nearly drowning in the lake while collecting water.

“My son fell in the lake collecting water. Another child passed him a jerry can but it floated away. He went after it but my son cannot swim so he got taken by the lake. All we require is access to water near to our house.”

A woman holding her child

Milimo Mwiinga, Zambia

Milimo Mwiinga, 25, who is pregnant, with her son Gifty, who nearly died of diarrohea.

“I am very afraid when I have the new baby that the same thing will happen as it happened to Gifty. I think and worry but there is nothing I can do.”

A woman holding her child

Shilpi Mondal, Bangladesh

Shilpi Mondal with her daughter in their home.

“We collect water from 20-30km away, usually about once every ten days. We share a boat with our neighbours as we can’t afford our own. This water gives us diarrhoea – we know it does – but what else can we do – we have no choice. When I give the water to my daughter I know it will make her ill. It makes me very sad.”