A chance to save lives through investment in water and sanitation
Tomorrow, 75 government ministers from developing countries will meet with partners from donor governments, UN agencies, development banks and civil society with the sole purpose of collaboratively investing in water and sanitation.
The high level meeting in Washington DC, organised through the Sanitation and Water for All partnership, demonstrates a will to make a difference and recognition of the importance of clean water and improved sanitation in overcoming poverty.
The participants have already outlined strong commitments to reducing the number of people who risk their lives by drinking dirty water and having nowhere safe to go to the toilet.
We now hope governments from both developing and donor countries will grasp this momentous opportunity to act on their promises and transform the lives of millions.
Water, sanitation and hygiene are the pillars of development. For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, on average, $8 is returned in increased productivity.
Ahead of the meeting, WaterAid launched a new report, Saving Lives, reiterating the powerful benefits of prioritising water and sanitation. It shows that by meeting the Millennium Development Goal to halve the proportion of the world’s population without sanitation by 2015, the lives of 400,000 children under the age of five will be saved worldwide in that year alone.
If we achieve universal access to safe water and adequate sanitation, the lives of the 2.5 million people who die every year as a result of diseases caused by dirty water and a lack of toilets would be saved.
The world has made significant progress with water and sanitation, meeting its target to halve the proportion of people without access to clean water earlier this year.
Further to this, we have also seen the influence that the Sanitation and Water for All partnership can have.
Last year in Liberia, key stakeholders were brought together under the initiative to devise a compact to shape the future development of the water, sanitation and hygiene sector in the country. Such progress will make a huge difference in Liberia, which is still recovering from 14 years of civil war and where only 17% of the population has access to improved sanitation.
These fantastic achievements prove that change can happen, but there are still 783 million people without access to a safe water source. Even for those currently being served, maintaining the infrastructure, expanding to meet new demand, and ensuring the water is drinkable remain huge challenges.
Now we call upon those with the power to effect change to make concrete actions towards a world with hygienic, dignified sanitation and a lasting supply of clean, safe water for all.Tagged in: charity, hygiene, poverty, sanitation, water, wateraid
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