Clean water update: 771 million people

WHO and Unicef released a report on access to water and sanitation in 2020. Fortunately, we are moving in the right direction: from 785 million to 771 million people without access to safe drinking water.

771 million people

The World Health Organization and Unicef released the report “Progress Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2020, Five years into the SDGs“.

The main conclusion is that we are moving in the right direction: from 785 million to 771 million people without access to safe drinking water. But there is still a lot of work to be done because the impact for still 1 in 10 people is huge.

In fact, according to the World Economic Forum, the water crisis is in the top 5 of global threats society as a whole.

Waarom is gebrek aan schoon drinkwater een probleem


Of this large group of 771 million people, 122 million are still completely dependent on surface water with all the associated health risks .

The rest of these people depend on remote or limited water supplies (282 million) or on sources that are poorly maintained and polluted (367 million people).

771 million is one and a half times as many as all the inhabitants of Europe put together.

To achieve access for everyone by 2030, we need to quadruple our commitment.

World Health Organisation


The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals say, among other things, that by 2030 we want everyone to have access to safe drinking water and sanitation. (SDG 6)

Although a positive development is visible, we are not going to make it with the current effort. In fact, we need to do four times as much as in the past 5 years to get there if we really want to do it right.

Unfortunately, the countries where these people live are often unable to pay for or organize the water supplies themselves.

A drop?

Is our contribution then a drop in the ocean? Certainly not: in the past five years we have already managed to realize at least 10 billion litres of clean drinking water. With this we give at least 140,000 people permanent access to good facilities. That is therefore as much as the whole of Den Bosch and converted about 1% of the progress or this area worldwide.

A small contribution can make a difference: for just over 20 euros we can give someone permanent access to safe drinking water. And for only 2.50 you give someone enough clean drinking water for a year to drink, cook and wash!


Do you want to help with our mission: clean drinking water for everyone?
You can do so in more ways than you think.

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