Every minute a child dies of a water-related disease
Women and children spend 200 million hours a day collecting water
More than 2.5x more people lack water than live in the United States
More people have a mobile phone than a toilet
For every $1 spent on water and sanitation there is a $4 economic return

Surveys from 45 developing countries show that women and children bear the primary responsibility for water collection in the majority of households. This is time not spent working at an income-generating job, caring for family members, or attending school.2


443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related illness.5


Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children under five in the world. Around 1.5 million deaths each year - nearly one in five – are caused by diarrhea. It kills more children than malaria, AIDS, and measles combined. 1


Every minute at least one child dies from diarrhea.6


An estimated 4,100 children under the age of five die each day from diarrhea globally.1 Malnutrition, due to dirty water, inadequate sanitation, and hygiene, is estimated to lead to death in an additional 2,350 children under the age of five each day.3


Nearly 1.5 million children under the age of five die every year from diarrhea globally.1


It is estimated that in the 1980s a child died approximately every six seconds from diarrhea1


90% of the deaths due to diarrheal diseases are children under 5 years old, mostly in developing countries. 4


Resource Links

Look for more facts in our collection of Water Resource Links.

References

  1. Estimated with data from Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done. UNICEF, WHO 2009
  2. Estimated with data from WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation. (2012). Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water, 2012 Update.
  3. World Health Organization (WHO). (2008). Safer Water, Better Health: Costs, benefits, and sustainability of interventions to protect and promote health; Updated Table 1: WSH deaths by region, 2004.
  4. UN Water. (2008). Tackling a global crisis: International Year of Sanitation 2008
  5. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). (2006). Human Development Report 2006, Beyond Scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis
  6. World Health Organization (WHO). 2012. Global Health Observatory. Global Health Observatory Data Repository. Mortality and global health estimates: Child Mortality: Causes of Child Death: Number of Deaths by Cause: By Region: WORLD: Diarrhoeal diseases

Water.org provides innovative, market-based solutions that change lives every day through safe water and sanitation.

Get the Water.org Newsletter