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Unsafe water kills more people than war

NEW YORK: More people die from drinking unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Monday on World Water Day.
"These deaths are an affront to our common humanity, and undermine the efforts of many countries to achieve their development potential," Ban said.
He called for better protection and sustainable management of one of the earth's most precious resources. He said the world's growing population is competing with nature's own demand for water to sustain a deteriorating ecosystem.
The UN Environment Program said people worldwide pour each day 2 million tons of untreated sewage and industrial and agricultural waste into the earth and compromise its water systems.
UNEP said one child under the age of five dies every 20 seconds from water-related diseases.
In a new study, UNEP noted that an investment of 20 million dollars in low-cost water technologies, such as drip irrigation and treadle pumps, could potentially lift 100 million poor farming families out of extreme poverty.
The study, Clearing the Waters: A focus on Water Quality Solutions, said repairing leaky water and sewage networks can not only secure water supplies, but also lower pollution and boost employment. It said more than half of treated water is lost to leaks.
The UN said close to 900 million people around the world do not have access to clean water, while 2.7 billion others lack sanitation facilities.

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