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Unsafe Water Kills More People Than Disasters and Conflict

by Katharina Buchholz

Less people around the world lack access to basic drinking water service than some years ago – but several countries, especially in Africa, still have a way to go to provide their citizens with safe water access. 844 million people around the world still lack even basic access, according to the United Nations, who declared March 22 World Water Day.

This is despite the fact that unsafe water, causing diseases like cholera, typhoid and hepatitis A, is a bigger cause of human death annually than disasters and conflict combined. This is according to the Emergency Event Database and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, which also point out that especially infants and children are affected by these deadly diseases.

The UN and WHO joint monitoring program on safe drinking water found that people lacking access to it are currently predominantly located in Africa. South and Central America, on the other hand, are nearing 100 percent access to basic water service (defined as access to protected wells or springs in less than 30 minutes distance).

 

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