Gauteng and NW Province

How Many People Die Due to Polluted Water?

By Nadria Tucker, eHow contributor

There are many places around the world where clean, nonpolluted drinking water is a rarity. The lack of access to safe water can stem from a variety of causes like regional disputes over water, polluted ground water and climate change. The World Health Organization has estimated that over a billion people worldwide use unsafe drinking water, and nearly half of the world’s population lacks basic sanitation. Millions of people worldwide die directly as a result of polluted water.

Background :

Industrial waste and household sewage in places that lack proper sewage treatment facilities can pollute water, making it deadly to drink. Agicultural waste, runoff from paper mills and chemical factories and raw sewage are often dumped into rivers and lakes, polluting the drinking water supply. Billions of people worldwide don’t have basic water services. Because they have no other options, they are forced to drink and bathe in polluted water, which can lead to illness and death.

Fatal Illnesses :

Unsafe drinking water is deadly for many reasons. Waterborne diseases that come from drinking water pollted by human or animal waste include cholera and dysentery, which can kill if left untreated. Poor personal hygiene and external contact with polluted water can cause scabies and parasites. Unclean water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry deadly diseases like malaria and yellow fever.

Mortality Statistics :

  • According to the World Health Organization and other international bodies:

    About 4,000 children die each day due to sickness stemming from unclean water and the inability to practice proper hygiene.

    Approximately 2 to 5 million people per year die due to diarrheal diseases contracted by ingesting contaminated water.

    Around 300,000 people die from infections based on mere contact with unclean water.

    Billions of work hours per year are lost in Africa while people travel far to try and collect cleaner drinking water.

Areas with High Mortality

  • Areas under development are currently at the highest risk of illness and death caused by drinking and bathing in polluted water. Poor populations in places like sub-Saharan Africa suffer greatly from the consequences of unsafe water. Many African children cannot attend school because there are no bathrooms.

    But even developed nations like China have water safety problems. Over 500 million people in China’s rural areas use contaminated water polluted with human or animal waste, arsenic or radiation. Many of China’s rivers have been declared unsafe for humans. While Asia is making progress to increase access to safe drinking water, the region is still home to the majority of the world’s population that drinks unsafe water.

 www.ehow.com

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