One of the 663 million people on earth without access to clean water. Photo courtesy Charity Water.
Sufficient water supply and sanitation has been one of man’s primary challenges since the dawn of civilization. Lack of good sanitation systems polluted water supplies, engendering disease and epidemics.
In the early 19th century, governments in developed countries began to implement ways to assure a safe water supply for drinking and, modern sanitation systems to contain disease. But a third of the world’s population still, in undeveloped countries, still lives under ancient, dangerous conditions.
March 22nd is World Water Day, which acknowledges this water crisis.
Even where there is sufficient river and lake water, it often carries harmful organisms that engender disease and death. (The same was true in Europe and elsewhere before the advent of monitored municipal water systems.)
When you live in a country with excellent tap water and sanitation, it’s eye opening to realize that:
One in 10 people—663 million—lack access to safe water.
One in 3 people—2.4 billion—lack access to a latrine or other toilet.
A staggering 4500 children die daily from preventable, water-related illnesses. [Source]
If you want to help, head to Action Against Hunger, which has clean water and sanitation initiatives in some of the most remote places of the world.