Every 90 seconds, a child dies due to waterborne illnesses from a lack of clean water or poor hygiene and sanitation techniques.
People in rural areas of developing countries, such as Kenya and Uganda, draw their drinking water mainly from surface sources such as ponds, rivers and lakes. These sources are often watering holes for livestock, downhill from latrines, and catchments for mudslide debris. Couple dangerous water sources with limited awareness and education of proper sanitation and hygiene techniques, and not having access to clean water can be life-threatening.
Women & Girls Are In Danger
Women and girls spend up to 36 hours a week walking to collect dirty water for their families. That’s the equivalent of four full school days spent on a walk for water carrying a heavy plastic water jerry can along dangerous roads where they are at risk for abuse and assault. 36 hours a week when they aren’t in school, aren’t building businesses, and aren’t available to care for their families.
Education Is Compromised
Children, most often girls, are pulled out of school to spend time carrying water for their families. Or lack of clean, private latrine facilities stops parents from sending their daughters to school - particularly when she begins to menstruate. Missing school because there is no clean water or proper sanitation means that students are missing out on vital knowledge and education that expands their perspectives and gives them tools to succeed in life.
The Local Economy Is Stifled
The role of clean water in poverty alleviation cannot be overstated. The time value of collecting water equates to over $24 billion in missed economic opportunity around the world each year. An additional $18 billion is forgone due to missed productive work time as people struggle with the often fatal health issues that come with waterborne illnesses.