More than 180 million people do not have access to basic drinking water in countries affected by conflict, violence and instability around the world, UNICEF warned today, as World Water Week gets under way.
“Children’s access to safe water and sanitation, especially in conflicts and emergencies, is a right, not a privilege” said Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF’s global chief of water, sanitation and hygiene.
“In countries beset by violence, displacement, conflict and instability, children’s most basic means of survival – water – must be a priority,” Wijesekera added.
TheNewsGuru reports People living in fragile situations are four times more likely to lack basic drinking water than populations in non-fragile situations, according to a recent UNICEF and World Health Organisation analysis.
Of the estimated 484 million people living in fragile situations in 2015, 183 million lacked basic drinking water services.
In conflict-affected areas in northeast Nigeria, 75 per cent of water and sanitation infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, leaving 3.6 million people without even basic water services.
“In far too many cases, water and sanitation systems have been attacked, damaged or left in disrepair to the point of collapse.
“When children have no safe water to drink, and when health systems are left in ruins, malnutrition and potentially fatal diseases like cholera will inevitably follow,” said Wijesekera.