Diseases spread through dirty water and poor sanitation are the fifth biggest killer of women worldwide, causing more deaths than AIDS, diabetes or breast cancer, researchers says. Nearly 800,000 women die every year because they lack access to safe toilets and clean water, said the development organisation, WaterAid, which analysed data from the Seattle-based Institute of Health Metrics research centre.
More than 1 billion women, or one in three women around the world do not have access to a safe, private toilet, while 370 million – one in ten – do not have access to clean water, according to WaterAid. More than 2 billion people gained access to clean water between 1990 and 2012, but nearly 750 million remaining still lack what the United Nations recognises as a human right.
Dirty water and poor sanitation are at the root of problems such as maternal and child mortality, and sexual violence.
WaterAid is an international non-profit organization that was set up in 1981 as a response to the UN International Drinking Water and Senitation decade. The organization was first established by the UK water industry on 21 July 1981 as a charitable trust at their main office premises in London.