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289,000 Children Under Five Die Yearly

From Diarrheal Diseases Due To Poor Water And Sanitation; As WaterAid Liberia Calls For Clean Water

It has been reported that around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That’s almost 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.

Again, while 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.

At the same time, on World Water Day, March 22 WaterAid Liberia urgently called for access to clean water for all, and stronger protections against overused and misused of the water supply.

In a new report, “Below the Surface”, WaterAid warns that unsustainable production of products for export, combined with consumers’ increasing desire for water-intensive products, may leave poor communities struggling to access clean water.

WaterAid Liberia also called for better regulation and allocation to water, to ensure basic needs for water are prioritized.

The charity says while exports of food and goods are important sources of income, production must be made sustainable, and industrial and agricultural use of water should not be prioritized over people’s ability to get water for their basic needs.

Some 844 million people around the world are denied access to clean water simply because of who they are, how much money they have, or where they live.

Lacking access to this human right means people are deprived of an equal chance to be healthy, educated and financially secure.

Just under two-thirds of the world’s population, or close to 4 billion people, live in physically water-scarce areas, where for at least part of the year demand exceeds supply. This number is expected to go up to 5 billion by 2050.

Currently, water quality in Liberia and access to clean water-of the 4.5 million Liberian population, more than one million are unable to access safe drinking water.

WaterAid Liberia Country Director, Chuchu Selma said this World Water Day, some 1.5 million people in Liberia are still without a source of clean water close to home.

According to him, this means lost education, lost opportunities and hundreds of lost lives each year. He said the time to act is now.

Mr. Selma further noted: “we must ensure that we protect our precious water supplies for the future, and ensure that we reach everyone with this basic for life, leaving no one behind’.

World leaders have promised to address this crisis by 2030 through United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6.

Also, WaterAid Chief Executive, Tim Wainwright said: “This World Water Day, we are more determined than ever to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone everywhere, by 2030. Unequal access to water and rapidly growing water scarcity, fuelled by a growing demand on water resources and the impact of climate and population changes, traps people in poverty and limits potential.

“The push for economic development must not imperil current and future generations’ access to water. There can be no sustainable economic development without access to water for all.”

WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organization works in 34 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalized people.

Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 25.8 million people with clean water and 25.1 million people with decent toilets.   TNR

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