March 22 is World Water Day, an event created by the U.N. to raise awareness about the importance of access to clean water—and the communities in desperate need of it.
Here’s a look at eight stats that show why providing clean water and sanitation to developing countries is so critical, and why your help can actually save lives.
Nearly one in 10 people across the world do not have access to clean water.
That’s twice the population of the entire United States. (Source)
Illnesses resulting from consuming unclean water are responsible for more deaths every year than war and violence.
More than 40 percent of those who die from diseases caused by dirty water are under the age of five. (Source)
Diseases related to dirty water are responsible for 20% of all the deaths of children who never reach their fifth birthday.
That’s more than 2,000 children a day. (Source)
The No. 1 cause of preventable blindness in the world is a disease caused from lack of sanitation and poor hygiene.
10 million people in the world are either completely blind or suffer from visual impairment because of trachoma. (Source)
In Africa, where much of the population lacks easy access to clean water, many women and young girls can spend as much as six hours a day gathering water.
Women are responsible for the vast majority of the gathering of water for their families. (Source)
In many developing countries, nearly 80% of all sickness is a result of a lack of access to clean water and sanitation.
37 percent of the individuals who don’t have access to clean water are in sub-Saharan Africa. (Source)
Easier access to clean water is linked to a better education for children in Africa.
Cutting the distance to a water source to within a 15-minute walk can result in a young girl’s school attendance to be increased by 12 percent. (Source)
Every dollar invested in helping a community get clean water sees a four-fold return in reduced health care cost.
You Can Make an Impact
Jesse Carey is a mainstay on the weekly RELEVANT Podcast and member of RELEVANT's executive board. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two kids.