Safe water and sanitation play a critical role in human health and economic development, yet millions of people around the world don’t have access to safe drinking water or toilets.
Lack of sanitation is extremely dangerous, and it’s one of the main causes of death among young people in the developing world. More than a half a million children younger than 5-years-old die from diarrhea every year – many of whom could be saved by modern sanitation. In addition to health issues, lack of access to clean water means that women and children spend valuable time walking to collect water. This time could be spent in school, at work, or with their families. The World Bank estimates that the combination of negative health effects and lost productivity costs $260 billion annually.
We can do better. It’s time to inspire the global community to elevate sanitation as a priority in the roadmap to end extreme poverty by 2030 – we must break the taboo around this issue once and for all.
How much do you know about global sanitation issues?
The Global Citizen Festival will take place on September 27 at 3 p.m. ET. The festival will air live on MSNBC and MSNBC.com. It’s a free concert for a great cause — thousands of global citizens will join together to convince world leaders to end extreme poverty by the year 2030. Find out how to become a Global Citizen here.