Clean Water Saves Lives
Water is life. Yet one billion people do not have access to safe water, and 2.6 billion people live without proper sanitation. Water-borne illness is the second highest cause of childhood death in the world. When water is unsafe and sanitation non-existent, water can kill.
UNICEF is committed to providing safe water and sanitation to the millions of affected children and their families. We distribute oral rehydration salts wherever children are suffering from illness and deadly dehydration caused by unsafe water. After a natural disaster, we train teachers to educate children about safe water and proper sanitation. And we distribute hygiene kits during a crisis to help children and their families adapt to their new circumstances and keep diseases like cholera at bay.
The Water-Education Link
Access to clean water does more than just save lives, it can turn lives around. When children no longer struggle with recurring illness, they can go to school and get an education. Their parents can tend to their fields and earn an income. Girls, especially, often miss out on school because they spend hours every day fetching water from distant sources. We help build pipelines to bring water to remote communities and we supply families with wells and water pumps so that girls, too, can get an education.
All children have the right to safe water and sanitation. Clean water helps break the cycle of poverty and saves children's lives. UNICEF works all over the world to make sure children have access to the most basic, lifesaving element-water.
Latest News and Reports from the Field
September 14, 2009
Burkina Faso and its capital city, Ouagadougou, were among the regions most affected by severe flooding that raged across West Africa earlier this month. Unprecedented rainfall destroyed more than 24,600 houses in Ouagadougou and surrounding areas. "There are at least 130,000 people displaced who are temporarily sheltered in schools, churches, mosques in some 93 sites," Prime Minister Tertius Zongo said, adding that there would be an immediate need for relief funds.
September 10, 2009
UNICEF announced some startlingly good news today-the number of children dying from preventable causes has markedly dropped. Just three years ago, 25,500 children under the age of five were dying each day-from curable illnesses like pneumonia and diarrhea. Now that number has been reduced to 24,000. That's 1,500 more children alive every single day.
August 4, 2009
Many of us take clean water for granted, but worldwide an estimated one billion people don't have access to it. Young children are the first to get sick and die from waterborne illnesses, including diarrheal dehydration. But UNICEF has pioneered a simple, low-cost treatment that is saving 1 million children every year.