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Clean Water Campaign

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This is the VOA SpecialEnglish Development Report.

The United Nations says more than one-thousand-million people inthe world do not have safe, clean water to drink. This is aboutone-sixth of the world's population. More than two-thousand-millionpeople do not have effective sanitation systems to remove bodilywastes. The U-N estimates that six-thousand people died each dayfrom preventable diseases caused by unclean water or poorsanitation. Most of them are children.

The U-N has launched an international campaign to help preventdeaths caused by unclean water and lack of sanitation. The campaignis called WASH, which means Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for All.The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council is organizingthe campaign.

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Graphic Image

Gourisankar Ghosh heads thecouncil. He says diseases caused by dirty water do not get muchrecognition. This is one reason why the WASH campaign wants to teachpeople that clean water and personal cleanliness, or hygiene, areimportant to their health. For example, the simple act of washinghands with soap and water can reduce cases of diarrhea by one-third.

p>Mister Ghosh says one goal of the campaign is to teach schoolchildren about personal cleanliness. Within the next fifteen years,the U-N council hopes to have hygiene taught in eighty percent ofschools in developing countries.

Mister Ghosh also wants the WASH campaign to work closely withlocal community officials. He says the council will help launchsimple water and sanitation projects in twenty-five counties, mostlyin Asia and Africa. He says local governments and organizations needto help people deal with hygiene, water and sanitation problems.

The U-N agency says the average person in a developing countryuses about ten liters of water a day. Yet, the average person in anindustrial country, such as Britain, uses one-hundred-thirty-fiveliters of water a day. WASH officials say this must change. Withinthe next twenty-five years, the group hopes all people will havesafe, clean water and sanitation. Mister Ghosh says developingcountries must learn that good hygiene, clean water and safesanitation are necessary human rights for all citizens.

This VOA Special English Development Report was written by JillMoss.

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