The World Health Organization and the UN Children’s Fund have said that a third of the world’s population does not have access to uncontaminated drinking water.
According to the UN organizations, more than half of the world population lacked adequate toilet facilities, which increases the risk of diseases.
In the first global report on the global sanitation problem released on Wednesday, the two agencies noted that since 2000, billions of people across the world had gained access to basic water and sanitation.
They however noted that millions of people across the world lack access to clean water or hygienic disposal of human waste.
The report said: “There are 2.1 billion people without safe and readily available water supplies and 4.5 billion without safely managed sanitation.
“The problem is particularly acute in rural areas.”
“Safe water, sanitation and hygiene at home should not be a privilege of only those who are rich or live in urban centres,” WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.
The report stated that poor sanitation helps to spread diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera and dysentery, as well as hepatitis and typhoid.
It said that each year, more than 360,000 children below the age of five die of diarrhoea.
The report stated that Sub-Saharan Africa lacks safe drinking water; it added that less than one in four people have access to clean water in this region of the world.
It said that about 892 million people across the world relieve themselves outdoors because they do not have toilets.
The report stated: “This problem is especially widespread in Central and Southern Asia, but there are also worrying trends elsewhere.
“Due to population growth, open defecation is increasing in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania.”