How water impacts the lives of girls
No matter where you are in the world, water is the most basic human need for survival. Unfortunately, in developing countries the burden of providing water to families often falls on the shoulders of girls and women.
On average, girls and women in developing countries walk over 6 kilometres per day, and 15 hours per week, to fetch and carry 20 litres of water.
In communities with limited or no access to water, girls and women are responsible for collecting it – often walking for hours just to reach the closest water source. The time they spend collecting water is time girls are not spending in school.
And oftentimes, the water they fetch isn’t safe or clean to drink. Worldwide, contaminated water causes girls to miss over 145 million days of school per year due to illness.
When girls do attend school, they are often faced with a lack of girls-only toilets at their schools. When toilets are too open or public, it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable for girls to use them, especially as they go through puberty and menstruation. As a result, many girls skip school when they have their periods and sometimes drop out of school altogether.
Yet, when safe and clean water is close to home, and girls’-only sanitation facilities are available, girls’ education, health and the well-being of entire communities all benefit.
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