1,400 children under five die each day from causes linked to lack of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene
NEW YORK, 22 March 2014 – Almost four years after the world met the global target set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for safe drinking water, and after the UN General Assembly declared that water was a human right, over three-quarters of a billion people, most of them poor, still do not have this basic necessity, UNICEF said to mark World Water Day.
Estimates from UNICEF and WHO published in 2013 are that a staggering 768 million people do not have access to safe drinking water, causing hundreds of thousands of children to sicken and die each year. Most of the people without access are poor and live in remote rural areas or urban slums.
By Roger Harrabin
Environment analyst, BBC News
Most countries will have to make do with the water they’ve got, but there are stark disparities
Over the past 40 years the world’s population has doubled. Our use of water has quadrupled. Yet the amount of water on Earth has stayed the same.
Less than 1% of the water on planet blue is for humans to drink.
About 2% is locked up in ice. The rest is for the fish.
Seawater is only good to drink for humans who live near the sea and can afford the cash and the energy to take out the salt.
For most of the population this is not an option.
Desalinated water costs maybe 15 times more than regular water. It burns polluting fossil fuel energy, as solar-powered desalination is in its infancy.
No, most places will have to live with the water they’ve got.
Many countries are awash; they’ll be fine. Others are desperately mining fossil H2O that seeped into rocks during the last ice age.
And as underground supplies run dry, water shortage sets in.
Large parts of Africa, Asia and Europe, including the south east of Britain are categorised by the UN as facing water stress or scarcity.
UNICEF Mozambique Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme is one of the largest UN water programmes in Africa. In partnership with the Government of Mozambique, the programme has a strong focus on service delivery through private sector civil engineering, drilling contractors and NGOs.
Water Supply in Mozambique