The Water Crisis
There is an urgent need for clean water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools and communities around the world.
Consider these facts:
- Women and children in many communities spend up to 60 percent of each day walking to collect water.
- 4,500 children die every day from preventable diseases related to a lack of access to clean water, adequate sanitation and hygiene.
- Without access to a latrine, many girls stop going to school once they reach puberty.
- In Africa, more than a quarter of the population spends more than 30 minutes, sometimes up to 6 hours, walking 3.75 miles just to collect enough water for the day.
- Over 80% of the disease in developing countries is related to poor drinking water and sanitation.
Women and children are mostly responsible for fetching water and caring for the sick (who primarily fall ill due to unclean water). This means that women and children have less time to spend on productive activities, such as going to school or working on a business venture, whereas men and boys can spend their days getting educated and making money.
The relationship between water and health is significant. An estimated two million people die every year from diarrhea-related diseases. Children, especially those under the age of five, are most susceptible to the ultimate horrors of water-borne diseases. Access to clean water and adequate sanitation substantially decreases the mortality rates among children.
Water, sanitation, and hygiene are of critical importance to a school community’s health and way of life. Due to lack of access to private sanitation facilities at schools, many children and teens (especially girls) cannot attend school. Girls and boys spend much of their days carrying water—sometimes walking miles from their homes to the source and back.