WORLD

WHO declares 2.1 billion people lack safe drinking water

WHO DECLARES 2.1 BILLION PEOPLE LACK SAFE DRINKING WATER

Three in 10 people worldwide, or 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home, the UN reported on Wednesday.

According to a new report by World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, six in 10, or 4.5 billion, lack safely managed sanitation.

"Safe water, sanitation and hygiene at home should not be a privilege of only those who are rich or live in urban centres," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

Moreover, 844 million do not have access to a basic drinking water service.

Noting that young children risked exposure to diseases due to lack of safe water and sanitation, he said that every year, 361,000 children under five years of age died due to diarrhea.

Some 263 million people in the world have to spend over 30 minutes to collect water from sources outside the home, and 159 million still drink untreated water from surface sources, such as streams or lakes, the report said.

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