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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 500,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. That's over 1,400 children a day.

Explore our statistics

To end poverty, we believe everyone, everywhere must have clean water and toilets. Together we can make it happen by 2030.

For a report of our activities and achievements, download our most recent annual reports.

The crisis

2.3 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation, one in three of the world's population.
(WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2015 update)
More than 650 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. 
(WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2015)
Diarrhoea is the third biggest killer of children under five years old in Sub-Saharan Africa.
(Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group (CHERG) 2012)
Diarrhoea is the second biggest killer of children under five years old worldwide.
(Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group (CHERG) 2012)
Half the hospital beds in developing countries are filled with people suffering from diseases caused by poor water, sanitation and hygiene. 
(UNDP Human Development Report, 2006  page 45)
Lack of water, sanitation and hygiene costs Sub-Saharan African countries more in lost GDP than the entire continent gets in development aid. 
(Using percentage estimate from UNDP: Human Development Report, 2006)
Nearly half the people who gained access to water between 1990 and 2008 live in India and China. 
(WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation 2010)
One study estimates that funding for water and sanitation infrastructure is lacking by US$115 million a year in Sub-Saharan countries. (Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD) Study), while WHO gives a global estimate of $535 billion needed in new capital investment to reach universal access, or $26.75 billion per year between 2010 and 2030. (Hutton, WHO, 2012)
The average person in the UK uses 150 litres of water a day. In Australia it's around 500 litres and in the USA, over 570 litres.
(UNDP: Human Development Report, 2006: page 34)
Water in Accra, Ghana, costs three times as much as in New York. 
(UNDP, 2006)
Women in Africa and Asia often carry water on their heads weighing 20kg, the same as the average UK airport luggage allowance.
(UNDP: Human Development Report, 2006: page 34-35).

Our approach

For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of at least $4 is returned in increased productivity. 
(Hutton, Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage, WHO, Geneva, 2012: page 4)
Hygienic practices such as washing hands with soap can reduce the risk of diarrhoea by 50%.
(Curtis and Cairncross, 2003; Luby, et al. 2005)
Hygiene promotion is the most cost effective health intervention according to the World Bank. 
(Saving lives, WaterAid, 2012)
Just £15 can help provide one person with access to safe water.
(WASHCost and WaterAid, 2014).

Our achievements

We reached over 220 people an hour with safe water in 2014-15.
(Average figure, WaterAid 2015)
In 2014-15, we reached over 2 million people with safe water and over 3.1 million people with sanitation.
(WaterAid, 2015)
Since 1981 we have reached 23 million people with safe water. 
(WaterAid, 2015)
Since 2004 we have reached 21 million people with improved sanitation.
(WaterAid, 2015)