Why Water?

“Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and therefore a basic human right”

Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary General (2007)

On 28 July 2010, United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights. The right to water is defined as right of everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable and physically acceptable and affordable water for personal and domestic use.


Water is a core requirement for sustainable development and is a critical requirement for socio-economic development, health, education and the ecosystem. Water is also celebrated around the world bringing people together in ritual, religious and cultural practices. Dealing with water is complex because of its linkages and interactions with so many other systems. With all the competing demands, power and politics at play, it is women and children that bear the highest cost of not having access to water. Viva con Agua believes that everyone, everywhere should have access to safe, sufficient and sustainable water in order to have the opportunity to live a healthy and productive life.

2.2 billion people
of the world population does not have access to a safely managed water service .


Sanitation refers to a facility, behaviour and services that safely separates human waste from human contact. If people have no choice but to defecate in the open, excreta is transferred back into water resources and the food chain.

4.3 billion people
of the world population does not use a safely managed sanitation service


Hygiene refers to behaviours that can prevent the spread of disease. Without hand washing, the benefits of clean water and safe toilets will be limited. In some parts of the world there is little or no knowledge of how disease can be prevented by the simple act of hand washing. In other places, people may have the knowledge of good hygiene behaviour, but lack access to hand washing facilities, soap and water.

3.1 billion people
of the world population does not have access to a basic hand washing facility


  • Approximately 50 litres of water per person per day are required to meet basic human needs and keep public health risks at low level

  • Almost half the schools in the world do not have handwashing facilities with soap and water available for students

  • Loss of productivity to water and sanitation related diseases costs many countries up to 5% of GDP

  • Hygiene promotion is one of the most cost-effective health interventions

  • The benefit from handwashing is not only limited to prevention of disease but also reduces huge financial losses from the stopping of economic activity as has happened with COVID-19.

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