About 748 million people around the world do not have proper access to a good water source. A United Nations publication, “Safe Water as the Key to Global Health,” stated: “No other single intervention is more likely to have a significant impact on global poverty than the provision of safe water.”
Without water to drink, people can’t live. Without water for their crops and livestock, they can’t eat enough or earn a living. If their water isn’t clean, they won’t be healthy. If their water comes from a faraway source, they have to spend their days carrying it instead of going to school or earning an income—this affects women and girls the most.
The good news is that the world has met the 2015 millennium development goal of ensuring that at least 88% of people have access to safe, clean water. But that still leaves vast numbers of people without this vital human right.
Closely linked to clean water is sanitation. More than one-third of the world’s population—2.5 billion people—do not have improved sanitation facilities, and 1 billion of them still practice open defecation. Too often, this contaminates the community’s water source, threatening people’s health and lives.
Islamic Relief water and sanitation projects–both at the emergency and long-term levels–have been providing essential aid for many years.