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650 million people live without safe water.

2.3 billion people don't have access to adequate sanitation, one in three of the world's population.

Over 315,000 children die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. That's 900 children a day.

Boy drinking from an unsafe water source
Water and sanitation underpin health, education and livelihoods, and yet hundreds of millions of people live without these basic human rights.

The crisis

Without safe water or sanitation, people are trapped in a cycle of poverty and disease. Across the developing world, millions of women are wasting precious time collecting dirty water, children are dying from preventable diarrhoeal diseases, and communities have open sewers running through them.

How it affects people

Girls fetching water from a water source

Adolescent girls

Nyemo Amani, Tanzania, spends around four hours a day collecting water. Her school has no separate toilets for girls, so she drops out when she is menstruating.
A woman washing her child


Francis Okello washes her son outside the hospital, Uganda. Infants are unable to develop normally if their bodies are deprived of essential vitamins and nutrients because of diarrhoea.
An elderly woman putting on a jacket

Older people

In countries with little or no social security, older people are often forced to pay people to fetch them dirty water or make other sacrifices such as going without food or medication.
A man crouching at a water pump

People with disabilities

For people with disabilities, like Amin Uddin, life was very difficult in Dhaka. That was until specially designed facilities were built - after he successfully campaigned for them.
Two boys filling water bottles from a tap


New taps installed at a school in Tanzania. Teacher Abraham Amas says, “Before, girls were not attending well, they were always late because they were fetching water.”
A group of adolescent girls fetching water with containers


The time-consuming burden of collecting water in developing communities generally falls on women, often taking several trips a day and many hours of their time.