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Every year, water-related disease kills 1.8 million children

The source of the disease is an estimated 2 billion tons of wastewater discharged into rivers and seas every day. Foul water kills 3.5 million people a year who lack access to safe drinking water and adequate sewer systems.

These startling statistics appear in Sick Water?, a newly released report by the United Nations Environment Program. The report's launch was timed to appear on World Water Day, Monday, March 22. That day, organizations around the globe held events to highlight the lethal effects of polluted waterways. Families and children in developing countries are most vulnerable to dying from water-borne diseases.

Finding Safe Water and Sanitation at SOS Children's Villages in India

Increased urbanization has contributed to water contamination in overcrowded cities like New Delhi, India. Almost a third of the capital's residents live in slums where open defecation and unclean water are a way of life. Children are easy prey to the diarrhea that comes from drinking unsafe water. Many are even left without parents as a result of water-borne diseases.

SOS Children's Villages provides loving homes, clean water, and sanitary living conditions for orphaned and abandoned children in India. The organization has been on the ground for more than four decades. Its 40 Children's Villages there -- the most villages SOS operates in any one country in the world -- offer promise to children whose life outcomes would otherwise be very bleak.

SOS not only surrounds children with warm and caring SOS mothers, SOS siblings to play with, and a healthy physical environment. SOS Children's Villages runs schools and clinics that are open to local families. To keep families intact, SOS counsels parents on disease prevention and gives them the skills they need to start small businesses.

by S. C.
27 march 2010, World News > Asia

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