Today, 844 million people – 1 in 9 – lack access to safe water and 2.3 billion people – 1 in 3 – lack access to a toilet. These are the people we aim to empower. 200 M hours women and girls spend every day collecting water. The water crisis is a health crisis. Nearly 1 million people die each year from water, sanitation and hygiene-related diseases which could be reduced with access to safe water or sanitation.
Every 2 minutes a child dies from a water-related disease. Access to safe water and sanitation contributes to improved health and helps prevent the spread of infectious disease. It means reduced child and maternal mortality rates. It means reduced physical injury from constant lifting and carrying heavy loads of water.
No child should die or get sick as a result of drinking contaminated drinking water, being exposed to other people’s excreta, or having no place to wash their hands. No child should have to stay away from school for lack of a clean toilet and privacy. No mother or newborn should contract an infection from an unsanitary delivery room when they are most vulnerable. And no one should suffer the indignity of having to defecate in the open. But unfortunately, far too many children, women and men around the world experience some or all of these risks to their health and well being -- and, thus to their futures.
That is why the GIFT 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes safe drinking water, effective sanitation, and good hygiene both as an end in itself and as a driver of progress on health, nutrition, education, gender equality and economic development of countries.
GIFT’s Clean Water Initiative (CWI) aims to :
i. Eliminate open defecation for the nearly 900 million people who continue to lack even the most rudimentary sanitation;
ii. Bring basic water, sanitation and hygiene within the reach of the most disadvantaged; and
iii. Support progress for those who already have basic services, but still don’t have truly safe drinking water or adequate sanitation.