Bukirayi water source

Water-Related Diseases

Over 300 million people in Africa – almost half of the total population – do not have access to clean, safe drinking water. Poor water quality continues to pose a major threat to villagers living in remote areas. A significant amount of disease could be prevented through availability of a safe water supply. The effects of these conditions are mostly concentrated on children who are unable to fight off diseases.

Waterborne diseases are caused by microorganisms that are directly spread through stagnant water. Water-related illnesses can be due to an inability to maintain proper hygiene and an increasing insect population that breeds in water and then spreads diseases. Animals also contribute to the problem as they drink and defecate in the same open ponds, streams, and ditches from which family’s collect water for drinking and cooking.

Dysentery, a diarrheal disease caused by polluted water, is responsible for the deaths of 1.8 million people every year and killing 5,000 children every day. This specific condition causes dehydration which then becomes the killer. Other water-related diseases are malaria, measles, cholera, typhoid fever, and bilharzia.

The tragedy is that these diseases could be prevented if the people in these areas were able to access clean, safe drinking water. We rarely think about those in other parts of the world who have to watch their children and other loved ones die because of a lack of clean water. What are you willing to commit to?