For the 1.1 billion people in the developing world who lack access to safe water supplies, however, water is a very precious commodity. Pure water is needed for drinking, irrigation to grow food, hygiene, food preparation, and other aspects of daily life. However, the poorest of the poor, most of whom live in the slums of the developing world, often pay up to 10 times more per liter of water than “wealthy” people living in the same city, and have little or no access to sanitation facilities. As a result:
- 3.6 million people die each year from water-related diseases.
- 80% of water-related deaths are in children ages 0-14. Each year, 1.4 million children die as a result of diarrhea.
- The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims with guns.
Meanwhile, an American taking a 5-minute shower uses more clean water than the typical person living in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.
Of the 60 million people added to the world’s towns and cities every year, most occupy impoverished slums and shantytowns with no sanitation facilities. Is it any wonder that, at any one time, more than half the poor in the developing world are ill from causes related to hygiene, sanitation, and water supply?
Without food a person can live for weeks; but without water, he can live only a few days!
CMF and our partners are committed to helping people around the world develop access to safe, pure water supplies.