Billions of people in developing countries lack access to basic sanitation

  • 2.5 billion people (38% of the world’s population) do not have access to improved sanitation
  • Many defecate in fields, ditches, buckets, and into plastic bags that litter the streets
  • Women often wait until dark to fulfill their sanitation needs, which can be unsafe; girls often abandon school when menstruation begins

Millions also lack access to the minimum adequate daily quantity of clean water

  • 884 million people (13% of the world’s population) do not have the 20 liters of clean water per day necessary to meet basic human needs
  • On average, they live on less than 5 liters of unclean water per day–one-tenth of what the developed world uses merely to flush toilets
  • Many draw water for consumption from ditches, rivers and lakes used by animals or polluted with excrement