World Water Day 201321/3/13
780 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation
Each year more than 3.4 million people die from water, sanitation and hygiene-related causes. 99% of these deaths occur in the developing world.
This Friday, March 22nd marks world water day, and is an opportunity to look at the importance of water in all our lives. Access to clean drinking water and good sanitation facilities make a huge difference to people’s health and wellbeing.
Half of all hospital beds in Africa are thought to be in use by people suffering from water related diseases. And the effects can be long-term. Diseases such as diarrhoea and worms, which result from inadequate access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities, are one of the largest causes of malnutrition in children under five.
We recognise that there are simple, cost effective approaches to combating these preventable illnesses and deaths. Working with households on hygiene education, potable water information, and sanitation advice are all cost effective ways of having a significant impact on malnutrition, hunger and mortality rates.
Irish Aid also focuses on managing water resources as a way of increasing access to water. By introducing more sustainable irrigation practices in agriculture and using seeds that need less water, the amount of water needed for agriculture can be reduced, leaving more water available for drinking and sanitation.
We recognise that there is an important link between access to these basic services and sustainable economic development, which is why we focus on a holistic approach to water and sanitation.
Read how our water management project in Ethiopia is making a difference:
One of Irish Aid’s water management projects focuses on the use of sustainable irrigation practices in Ethiopia. Read about how these sustainable water practices are having a positive impact on hunger and climate change in Ethiopia.