The chemical that spilled into a major West Virginia river last week forced about 300,000 people in Charleston and surrounding areas not to use their tap water over several days for drinking, cooking, bathing or washing clothes or anything else.
For many people around the world — especially in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia — a lack of access to clean water is a fact of everyday life. According to data gathered by the World Health Organization and UNICEF’s Joint Monitoring Programme in 2011, an estimated 768 million people were using drinking water sources that weren’t adequately protected from outside contamination, particularly from fecal matter, and 185 million used surface water (from lakes, rivers, streams or oceans) for daily drinking.
Diarrhea was the leading cause of illness and death in the world, and the majority of diarrhea-related deaths resulted from a lack of access to bathrooms, as well as unsafe drinking water and insufficient access to clean water for hygiene.
(Photo by Reuters)