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WHO and UNICEF’s data underestimate global water and sanitation crisis, showing need for improved monitoring

Official data on the number of people still lacking access to adequate water and sanitation services prove that the current situation is simply unacceptable: “884 million people lack adequate access to clean water and 2.6 billion lack access to proper sanitation,” according to WHO and UNICEF’s Joint Water Monitoring Program. Disease spreads rapidly with over one billion people forced to defecate outside due to a lack of sanitation and indoor plumbing; in fact, unsafe water and sanitation is the most important environmental cause off ill-health, with millions dying every year as a result of poor water, sanitation and hygiene conditions. Young children in particular tend to suffer from water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea.

“A realistic assessment requires continuous monitoring at local levels. Better data on water services can help consumers hold their water service provider accountable. H2.0 partner ITC developed Human Sensor Web, a system that allows Zanzibar citizens to report water outages by SMS and receive alert messages on water quality and availability,” stated Google.

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