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According to UNICEF, in 2010 1.8 billion people (almost 30% of the world’s population) were drinking unsafe water. Situation has not improved much since then.
To get a general overview of the situation with drinking water in the world today, dedicated website www.waterinfo.org gives following facts about water (with reference to UN data):
- An estimated 2.4 billion people lack adequate sanitation and 1.1 billion people are without access to safe water
- 90% of wastewater in developing countries is discharged into rivers and streams without any treatment
- There are 1.6 million deaths per year attributed to dirty water and poor sanitation
- In the past ten years, diarrhoea related to unsanitary water has killed more children than all the people loss due to armed conflicts since WWII
- At any one time, it is estimated that half the world's hospital beds are occupied with patients suffering from waterborne diseases
- The average distance that women in developing countries walk to collect water per day is four miles and the average weight that women carry on their heads is approximately 44 pounds
- Over 40 billion work hours are lost each year in Africa to the need to fetch drinking water
More on fresh water and sanitation related matters on can be found on dedicated UN website http://www.unwater.org/home/en/