Environment

Two billion people drinking contaminated water: WHO

Dramatic improvements are needed in ensuring access to clean water and sanitation worldwide, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday, warning that nearly two billion people currently use faecal-contaminated water. Hundreds of thousands of people die each year because they are forced to drink contaminated water.

“Today, almost two billion people use a source of drinking-water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio,” Maria Neira, who head’s WHO’s public health department, said in a statement.

“Contaminated drinking-water is estimated to cause more than 500 000 diarrhoeal deaths each year and is a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis and trachoma,” she added.

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