opinion

Two billion people drinking contaminated water: WHO

15 April 2017 - 40   - 0

waterDramatic improvements are needed in ensuring access to clean water and sanitation worldwide, the World Health Organization said Thursday, warning that nearly two billion people currently use faecal-contaminated water.

Hundreds of thousands of people die each year because they are forced to drink contaminated water, the WHO said, urging large investments to help provide universal access to safe drinking water.

“Today, almost two billion people use a source of drinking-water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio,” Maria Neira, who head's WHO's public health department, said in a statement.

“Contaminated drinking-water is estimated to cause more than 500,000 diarrhoeal deaths each year and is a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis and trachoma,” she added.

In 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) -- a series of aspirational targets for eradicating poverty and boosting human wellbeing, including vowing to ensure universal access to safe and affordable water and sanitation by 2030.

But according to a fresh report Thursday, published by WHO on behalf of UN-Water, countries will fall far short of this goal if they do not radically increase their investments.

The report welcomed the fact that countries had on average raised their annual budgets for water, sanitation and hygiene by 4.9 percent over the past three years.

But 80 percent of countries acknowledge that their financing is still not enough to meet their nationally-set targets for increasing access to safe water and sanitation, it found.

“In many developing countries, current national coverage targets are based on achieving access to basic infrastructure, which may not always provide continuously safe and reliable services,” WHO warned in a statement.

The World Bank has meanwhile estimated that investments in infrastructure will need to triple to $114 billion per year -- not including operating and maintenance costs -- in order to meet the SDG targets.

“This is a challenge we have the ability to solve,” said Guy Ryder, Chair of UN-Water and head of the International Labour Organization.

“Increased investments in water and sanitation can yield substantial benefits for human health and development, generate employment and make sure that we leave no one behind,” he added.

GENEVA, AFP

  Comments - 0

  • Leave a comment



 



style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-6200193111498313"
data-ad-slot="1999573490">

 

Features & Analysis

New toy taking China by storm can fire needles and nails as well as toothpicks, leading to concerns over safety

(AFP) Handheld mini-crossbows that can fire needles and nails are the latest must-have toy in China but anx...

Delving into Sri Lankan nature with Eco Team's Ahas Pokuna

Anuruddha Bandara; a pioneer in tourism innovations has created Sri Lanka’s first, all-suite, luxury, pri...

Lankan Ambassador in Qatar attends Ifthar Dinner celebration at Emir's invitation

The Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani hosted an Ifthar Dinner celebration recently at ...

A glimpse inside the beautiful ‘super-luxury’ M.V. Majestic Princess

The ‘super-luxury’ M.V. Majestic Princess stopped over in Colombo Port on her 49-day maiden voyage from R...



style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-6200193111498313"
data-ad-slot="1999573490">