First Water Barometer

Published on Tuesday 17 March 2015

“2.6 million people die each year from a lack of access to water and sanitation”

For the past 35 years, the humanitarian aid organisation SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL has been working to improve access to water and sanitation in areas affected by conflict, epidemics and natural disasters. This year, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL has published the first ever “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Barometer”. Produced with the support of a variety of experts, it takes stock of the current state of access to this vital resource, which is at the heart of all the challenges that humanity must take on in order to ensure its own survival and development.

Water in figures

Even though access to clean water was declared a human right in 2010, and although significant progress has been recorded in the last 15 years, 3.5 billion people still people drink water that is hazardous to their health every day. Even today, 2.6 billion human beings lack adequate sanitation. 2.6 million people, including 1.8 million children under 15 years of age, die each year from diseases linked to dirty water and poor sanitation. 90% of all natural hazards are related to water. 76% of women and children in developing countries spend 140 million hours each day collecting water. 272 million school days are missed due to the lack of toilets.These figures reflect the extent to which access to water and sanitation is a humanitarian emergency – but also how crucial it is as a way of enabling development.

2015, a crucial year for water access

On the occasion of World Water Day on 22nd March, and in the run-up to the 7th World Water Forum in South Korea (12th to 17th April) and upcoming United Nations vote on the new Sustainable Development Goals (2015 – 2030), scheduled for September 2015, the “Water Barometer” brings together essential figures, analyses, insights and discussions on key issues related to water and sanitation, as well their direct links to health, development, education, conflict, and natural disasters.

Leading specialists contribute their expertise

To make this project a reality, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL has called on its experts in Water, Hygiene and Sanitation, as well as those in Food Security and Livelihoods. We also appealed to Gerard Payen (member of the United Nations Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, UNSGAB), Claus Sorensen (Director-General of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, ECHO), Professor of medicine Renaud Piarroux, geopolitical scientist Franck Galland, and Jacques Oudin, the initiator of the famous law which today celebrates its 10th anniversary. Contributing to this “Water, Hygiene and Sanitation Barometer” is yet another way in which they play an active part in the struggle for universal access to water and sanitation, ensuring that the issue of water is no longer neglected in international forums and that together, we can end this silent scourge.

Press contact :
Tugdual de Dieuleveult : +33 (0)176218711 or +33 (0)664925037 – tdedieuleveult@solidarites.org


Find out more :

Infographic : in figures, access to drinking water, hygiene and sanitation
Debate : drinking water and sanitation for all by 2030, a dream or a reality ?
– Download thehttps://www.solidarites.org/en/publications/2015-water-sanitation-and-hygiene-barometer/