Caritas works to provide potable water and sanitation to people in Senegal Credits: Luttenberger/Caritas

Caritas works to provide potable water and sanitation to people in Senegal Credits: Luttenberger/Caritas

It is essential for life but one in nine people around the world don’t have access to clean water. Secours Catholique (Caritas France) has developed a “wikiwater”, an interactive guide which offers ideas to improve access to water and sanitation for fragile communities.

The wikiwater was created by Secours Catholique’s Patrick Flicoteaux who worked with volunteers and experts over the course of three years. It gives simple and practical information and tips on such activities as how to build a well and how to purify water, among many other suggestions. To visit the wikiwater click here. In the meantime, here are some things you may not know about water:

  1. More than 4 million people still die each year worldwide due to unsafe water and 885 million do not have access to drinking water. Learn more about analysing the quality of water.
  2. “Of the world’s seven billion people, six billion have mobile phones. However, only 4.5 billion have access to toilets or latrines.” UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.
  3. People suffer some four billion diarrhea episodes every year, 88% of them due to unclean water and also to poor hygiene and sanitation, both at the water source, during transport and in the home. These illnesses cause nearly 1.8 million deaths every year, the majority of them among children under the age of 5.
  4. A 2010 cholera epidemic in Haiti caused by infected drinking water led to the deaths of over 7,900 people.
  5. The UN General Assembly acknowledged the right to water and sanitation as a part of the basic human right to an adequate standard of living in 2010.
  6. This is the easiest and cheapest way to disinfect water in small quantities – by exposing transparent water bags or bottles to the sun.
  7. Lack of access to clean water not only impacts health, but also education. In Tanzania, a survey found school attendance to be 12 per cent higher for girls in homes located 15 minutes or less from a water source than in homes one hour or more away.
  8. Caritas helps communities gain access to clean water all over the world
  9. Here’s how you can design a project to improve drinking water
  10. “Water is life.”