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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.

650 million people have no choice but to get water from wherever they can, whether it's a dirty pond or an expensive water vendor.

Why is this happening

Without access to safe water for drinking, cooking and cleaning, people are more likely to suffer from water-related diseases. These can be fatal, killing over 1,400 children a day.

The time and energy required to fetch water, together with the negative health impacts of using dirty water, also has a huge impact on people’s ability to work or get an education.

In the countries where we work, poor communities often cannot access sufficient quantities of safe water locally, due to poor infrastructure and bad management of services. This can be down to a lack of skills, investment or political will to prioritise the right to water.

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. Nyiramahirwe village, Bugesera, Rwanda.

“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. Kayola village, Namavwa ward, Zambia.

“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. Moshashoripur village, Koyra, Bangladesh.

“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.”