Dirty water kills hundreds of thousands

Press release 19 October 2014 Media contact: Kate van Niekerk Tel: 082 855 9443 E-mail: kate.van.niekerk@gga.org Dirty water kills hundreds of thousands Nearly 320,000 children under the age of five died of easily preventable and treatable diarrhoeal diseases in Africa in 2012, the latest figures available. This was more than the rest of the world combined, according to the Africa Survey 2014, to be released October 28th by Good Governance Africa in Johannesburg. children-dirty-water1 The Africa Survey 2014 is a comprehensive annual collection of social, political and economic indicators for the continent’s 55 countries compiled from a wide range of sources. GGA obtained information for this press release from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, the UN’s children’s fund. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) alone accounted for 15%, or 47,390, of these deaths. It also accounted for over a third of all cholera cases in Africa in 2012, at 33,661. The spread of diarrhoeal diseases is directly related to a lack of access to clean water and sanitation, medication and healthcare services. The share of the population in the DRC with access to clean drinking water remained almost unchanged between 2005 and 2012 at 46.5%, making it the country with the least access to clean water in Africa. In addition, only 31% of the population in the DRC had access to sanitation that protected people from contact with faecal matter in 2012. The average for Africa was only slightly better at 33%. “Clean water and adequate sanitation are essential to eradicate easily preventable water-borne diseases that are claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of children,” said Kate van Niekerk, a GGA researcher. “African governments need to invest more in water and sanitation infrastructure to increase access to these basic services.” Join GGA at the formal release of the 2014 Africa Survey: October 28th, 5.30pm for 6.00pm at GIBS, 26 Melville Road in Illovo. RSVP to allyf@gibs.co.za. Good Governance Africa is a research organisation that promotes better government management. Its main publications are the Africa Survey and Africa in Fact, a journal that tracks government performance and proposes solutions

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