Water Facts

Water Facts

One of the most critical needs in the fight against poverty is the need for clean water. In order to effectively fight poverty, you must learn the facts about water and understand how it affects so many aspects of life. Knowing these water facts is a necessary part of understanding the problem of poverty.

The facts about water don’t have to be as alarming as they are – deaths from diseases caused by dirty water are easily preventable. Even so, lack of access to clean water continues to complicate life for those in poverty.

One of the most sobering facts about water is that thousands of children die each day as a result of diseases caused by a lack of clean water or adequate sanitation. One of the ways that Compassion’s program fights poverty is to provide access to clean water for sponsored children and their families.

Your sponsorship will radically change life for a child in need. When you sponsor a child through Compassion, your child and his or her family no longer have to fight each day to find clean water. Their time and energy can instead go towards other things like education and income generation. When you change the facts about water for a child in poverty, you change his life forever.

Water Facts
Water Facts Get the facts about safe water and adequate sanitation and how it affects children and their families.
  • 783 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly 11 percent of the world's population.
  • 2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation, this is about 35 percent of the world's population.
  • Around 700,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation – that's almost 2,000 children a day.
  • Access to sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa is in fact declining, with only 31 percent of people able to access a toilet – 6 percent less than reported in 2006.
  • Lack of safe water and sanitation costs sub-Saharan Africa around 5 percent of its Gross Domestic Product each year.
  • Hand-washing with soap at critical times can reduce the incidence of diarrhea by up to 47 percent.
  • The integrated approach of providing water, sanitation and hygiene reduces the number of deaths caused by diarrheal diseases by an average of 65 percent.
  • Childhood malnutrition causes about 35 percent of all deaths of children under the age of five years worldwide; it is estimated that 50 percent of childhood malnutrition is associated with repeated diarrhea or intestinal infections as a result of unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene.
  • Poor access to water and sanitation accounts for 10 percent of the global disease burden.
  • The weight of water that women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads is commonly 40 pounds, the same as an airport luggage allowance.
  • Access to piped water into the household averages about 85 percent for the wealthiest 20 percent of the population, compared with 25 percent for the poorest 20 percent.
  • A mere 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and these 12 percent do not live in the Third World.
  • 5.9 billion people, or 87 percent of the world’s population, and 84 percent of the population living in the developing world now use drinking water from safer, improved sources. At current trends the world will meet or even exceed the water MDG target.