1.2 million people die every year because they don't have access to safe drinking water
29% of the world's population doesn't have access to safe drinking water, resulting in 1.2 million deaths per year. This is an average of 2.2% of the total deaths back in 2017, but an average of 6% of deaths in low-income countries. Europe only has an average of 0.01% of deaths due to lack of access to safe drinking water.
Lack of access to safe water sources can lead to a whole lot of infectious diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, hepatitis A and polio. It also exacerbates malnutrition, especially in children.
There has been a huge improvement in the last 25 years in Latin America and East and South Asia, but Africa is still severely lacking in safe water access. So much so, that more people living in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to safe water than they did 25 years ago, with almost half of the people drinking from unprotected water sources. This is because there is a huge inequality within the countries, with 80% of people living in rural areas without improved water sources.
It's mainly women and girls who are responsible for collecting water for their household and it can take more than an hour per trip to retrieve a couple of buckets. Many African households with access to improved water sources, such as a tap near or in the house, still don't receive water every day. This water is often not treated correctly, and can contain traces of faeces (feacal contamination is the main health concern when we look at safe water within these countries).