Every $1 spent on water and sanitation generates $8 as a result of saved time,
increased productivity and reduced health care costs.
Across the world, 884 million people do not have access to clean water and 2.6 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. 4,100 children die each day from severe diarrhea, which is spread through poor sanitation and hygiene.
Dirty water and a lack of basic sanitation are undermining efforts to end extreme poverty and disease in the world's poorest countries. 4,100 children die every day from severe diarrhea, which is caused by poor sanitation and hygiene. Women and girls in developing countries spend most of their days gathering water for their families, walking 3.5 miles on average each day to collect water. Girls often drop out of primary school because their schools lack separate toilets and easy access to safe water.
Access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation facilities could transform the lives of millions in the world's poorest countries. Universal access to water and sanitation could prevent thousands of child deaths and free up hours each day for women and children to go to work or school. This is especially true for girls -- studies show that girls are 12% more likely to go to school if water is available within a 15-minute walk rather than a one hour's walk.
Investing in water and sanitation is also smart economically. Every $1 spent on water and sanitation generates the equivalent of $8 in saved time, increased productivity and reduced health care costs. Meeting the water and sanitation targets set out through the Millennium Development Goals could save sub-Saharan Africa $22 billion each year.