Water is the source of all life. Contaminated drinking water could lead to diseases like Typhoid and Cholera, which cause illnesses and even deaths.
Safe water is not only needed for drinking but also for food preparation, personal hygiene and domestic use.
Lack of access to safely-managed drinking water means that people use a drinking-water source that is contaminated with human waste, which spreads bacteria, viruses, parasites and worms. These transmit diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, dysentry, typhoid and polio. (WHO)
Each year, there is an estimated 502,000 diarrhoeal deaths related to contaminated drinking water.
Diarrhoeal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under age 5, killing an estimated number of 340,000 children every year. 50% of child malnutrition is associated with unsafe drinking-water and inadequate sanitation and hygiene (WHO, 2008). These are preventable with safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene.
For many communities, water sources are usually far from their homes. Typically, it is the women and girls who spend much of their time and energy fetching water. People are "forced to rely on sources such as surface water, unprotected and possibly contaminated wells, or vendors selling water of unverifiable provenance and quality."
Dispensers for Safe Water (by Evidence Action) provides water chlorination technology that cost-effectively provides safe water for consumption and use.
Such health risks can be prevented.
Universal access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene would reduce the global disease burden by 10%.
For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of at least $4 is returned in increased productivity. (Sanitation returns $5.50 from $1 and water returns $2 from $1). (WHO, 2012)
Book - Progress: 10 reasons to look forward to the future (Johan Norberg) (2016)