Unsafe water and the lack of basic sanitation and adequate hygiene contribute to the leading killers of children under five, including diarrhoeal diseases, pneumonia and undernutrition, and have implications for whether children, especially girls, attend school.
This means that achieving Millennium Development Goal 7 and its 2015 targets of reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation are of vital relevance for children and for improving nutrition, education and women’s status.
The Quality of Water
Water quality is a growing concern throughout the developing world. Drinking water sources are under increasing threat from contamination, with far-reaching consequences for the health of children and for the economic and social development of communities and nations.
This handbook is a comprehensive a new tool to help UNICEF and its partners meet the responsibility of protecting water sources and mitigating quality problems. The handbook provides an introduction to all aspects of water quality, with a particular focus on the areas most relevant to professionals working in developing countries.
It covers the effects of poor water quality, quality monitoring, the protection of water supplies, methods for improving water quality, and building awareness and capacity related to water quality.
The 2004 publication from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme on global statistics for water and sanitation.
The coverage figures – from 1990 and 2002 – show that the sanitation target of halving the number of unserved people worldwide by 2015 will not be met without a dramatic acceleration in the provision of services.