Ten percent of world population cannot access clean water

United Nations estimates diarrhoeal diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation kill one child every two minutes across world as World Water Day approaches

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Children drink water from a public water pump on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan March 4, 2016.

Some 650 million people, or one in ten of the world's population, do not have access to safe water, putting them at risk of infectious diseases and premature death.

Dirty water and poor sanitation can cause severe diarrhoeal diseases in children, killing 900 under-fives a day across the world, according to United Nations estimates - or one child every two minutes.

A girl collects drinking water at Dala river outside Yangon, Myanmar March 3, 2016.

Among newborn babies, the World Health Organization says infections caused by a lack of safe water and an unclean environment cause one death every minute somewhere in the world.

The UN says access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation services is vital to human health. It is also important for other reasons - ranging from easily identifiable and quantifiable benefits such as cost and time savings, to more intangible factors like convenience, well-being, dignity, privacy and safety.

A civil defence worker pours water from a water truck into a container near a dry lake in Presidente Figueiredo, in Amazonas state, Brazil March 4, 2016.

The WHO estimates that every $1 invested in improving water supply and sanitation services yields gains of $4 to $12, depending on the type of intervention.

This year's United Nations World Water Day, marked on March 22, is focused on water and jobs, designed to highlight how water can create paid and decent work and contribute to a greener economy and sustainable development.

TRTWorld, Reuters