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Providing toilets, safe water is top route to reducing world poverty: UN University
Date:10/19/2008

2002, the total number of deaths attributed to poor water, sanitation and hygiene was over 3.5 million.

Each year, estimated 4 billion people contract diarrhoeal diseases.

Some 1.4 million children (half a million of them under age 5) die as a result of diarrhea. Chronic diarrhoea can also result in child malnutrition, making them susceptible to other diseases and resulting in 860,000 deaths per year.

Some 94% of diarrhoea cases are preventable.

There are 300 million clinical cases of, and 1 million deaths from, malaria recorded per year.

Some 50 to 100 million people in Asia consume water containing unsafe levels of arsenic.

Providing sanitation in some places is made difficult by tradition and culture the stigma and embarrassment associated with talking and teaching about sanitation.

Climate change

Climate change is expected to bring more frequent and intense rain to many places, leading to floods and shallow sub surface water flow which can mobilize pathogens and other contaminants.

Higher temperature could change the rates of reproduction, survival and infectivity of various pathogens.

Flooding can also impact chemical storage and sewage facilities, compromising water supply quality. And drinking and wastewater infrastructure systems will be overwhelmed more often.

Sea-level rise will affect groundwater aquifers in coastal areas and flood low-lying areas, reducing freshwater availability.

By 2030 it is estimated that the risk of diarrhoea will be up to 10% higher in some countries due to climate change.

With the advent of climate change, pathogens may become endemic in altered ecologies. Even if not directly linked to health, these threats can have a devastating effect on the ecosystem, indirectly threatening water supplies.

Due to greater migration, diseases will be transported to other regions where they may or may
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
United Nations University
Source:Eurekalert

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