What if one out of three houses in your neighborhood had no toilet? How do you think that would affect the neighborhood's health? What if one in ten didn't have safe water? What if that house was yours?
Worldwide water facts, according to water.org, one out of 10 people, or 663 million, doesn't have safe water for cooking, drinking, or washing. That's twice the population of the U.S. One-third of the world's population, or 2.4 billion people, doesn't have access to a flush toilet. More people have mobile phones than toilets!
Why does it matter? When people relieve themselves on the ground or in leaky latrines, any disease organisms in their bowels or bladder can get into the water other people rely on for drinking, cooking, and washing. In developing countries, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 80 percent of all illnesses are caused by contaminated water. Many of these diseases can be crippling, even fatal. In sub-Sahara Africa, more children, about 500,000 annually, die of diarrhea caused by dirty water than die of tuberculosis, AIDS, and meningitis put together.
Sometimes a safe water fact is a long way from people's houses. People may not be able to carry enough home for all a household's needs, so sanitation is neglected. As measured by the World Economic Forum, the lack of clean water is the top global risk based on its impact to society.