JOHANNESBURG (AP) — More than 5 million people in South Sudan do not have access to safe, clean water, compounding the country’s problems of famine and civil war, according to UNICEF. Even those South Sudanese who can find water spend much of their day hiking, fetching and carrying the containers of the precious fluid that is essential to life.
As World Water Day approaches on March 22, nearly 27 million people do not have access to clean water in Somalia, South Sudan, northeastern Nigeria and Yemen. In total about 12 percent of world population lacks clean drinking water and water-related diseases account for 3.5 million deaths each year, more than car accidents and AIDS combined, according to the World Water Council.
In Africa 319 million people, representing 32 percent of all sub-Saharan Africans, don’t have safe drinking water.