1.) 2.5 billion people live without improved sanitation, but every $1 invested in improving water and sanitation results in $4.30 in overall economic revenue.
2.) Over 70% of these people who lack sanitation, or 1.8 billion people, live in Asia.
3.) Unsafe or inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene cause approximately 3.1 percent of all deaths worldwide, and 3.7 percent of DALYs (disability adjusted life years) worldwide. Teaching people to wash their hands and properly use latrines saves more lives than any vaccine. In fact, sanitation and hygiene programs double the impact of every water project - decreasing disease in a community by an average of 47%.
4.) Sub-Saharan Africa is slowest of the world’s regions in achieving improved sanitation: only 31 percent of residents had access to improved sanitation in 2006. The burden of fetching water often falls on women, preventing them from working or getting an education. Walking long distances to get water increases the risk of sexual assault, and the lack of proper sanitation facilities is the main reason young girls drop out of school. Access to clean water helps women get the same opportunities as men. On average women and children in the developing world walk a distance of 6 kilometeres (3.7 miles) each day collecting water. Providing access to clean water relieves this burden and unleashes the freedom to work, learn, grow, and dream.
5.) 18% of the world’s population, or 1.2 billion people (1 out of 3 in rural areas), defecate in the open. Open defecation significantly compromises quality in nearby water bodies and poses an extreme human health risk.