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844 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water.

2.3 billion people in the world – one in three – do not have a decent toilet.

289,000 children under 5 die each year due to diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That’s 800 a day, or 1 child every 2 minutes.

Explore our statistics

The crisis

2.3 billion people in the world – one in three – do not have a decent toilet.
(WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2017 update)
844 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water.
(WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2017 update)
Around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children per day, or one child every two minutes.
(WASHWatch.org)
Every minute a newborn baby dies from infection caused by a lack of clean water and an unclean environment.
(WHO, 2015)
42% of healthcare facilities in Africa do not have access to safe water.
(WHO/UNICEF, 2015)
Nearly half of all people using dirty water live in sub-Saharan Africa, and one fifth live in Southern Asia.
(WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2015)
Globally, 17% of the urban population and 50% of the rural population lack a decent toilet.
(WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2017 update)
At current rates of progress, everyone in low- and middle-income countries won’t have clean water until 2039.
(WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2017 update)
At current rates of progress, everyone in low- and middle-income countries won’t have decent toilets until 2066. 
(WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2017 update)
If everyone everywhere had clean water, the number of diarrhoeal deaths would be cut by 34%.
(Prüss-Ustün A, Bartram J, Clasen T et al. Burden of disease from inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene in low- and middle-income settings: a retrospective analysis of data from 145 countries. Tropical Medicine & International Health. 2014;19(8):894-905. doi:10.1111/tmi.12329)
892 million people in the world defecate in the open.
(WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programe (JMP) Report 2017 update)
Across the countries where we work, people have to walk an average of 30 minutes to collect water and return home. In some cases it can be a lot longer.
(WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on sanitation and drinking water, 2012 update)
Globally, 31% of schools do not have clean water and 34% lack adequate toilets.
(UNICEF, Advancing WASH in Schools Monitoring, 2015)
Stunting affects 156 million children under-five – down from 169 million in 2010.
(UNICEF/WHO/WORLD BANK Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates 2016)
Wasting affects 50 million children under-five.
(UNICEF/WHO/WORLD BANK Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates 2016)

Our approach

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, Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage, 2012)
Hygiene promotion is the most cost effective health intervention according to the World Bank.
(Disease Control Priorities, third edition (volume 2): Reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health, 2016)
Just £15 can help provide one person with access to clean water.
(WASHCost and WaterAid, 2014).

Our achievements

We reached over 220 people an hour with clean water in 2014-15.
(Average figure, WaterAid 2015)
In 2014-15, we reached 1.9 million people with clean water and 3 million people with sanitation.
(WaterAid, 2016)
Since 1981 we have reached 25 million people with clean water. 
(WaterAid, 2016)
Overall we have reached 24 million people with improved sanitation.
(WaterAid, 2016)