Zuma calls on world leaders to prioritise clean water, sanitation

Zuma calls on world leaders to prioritise clean water, sanitation

Thousands of people die each year from consuming untreated water in countries that can't afford to clean their supplies in accordance with acceptable health standards. 

World Water Day
Steve Bhengu

This is what delegates were told at the UN World Water Day Summit at the Durban International Convention Centre, yesterday. 

Addressing delegates, Getachew Engida from UNESCO said children also bear the brunt of unpurified water.

"Over 300 000 children under the age of five died in 2012 - due to inadequate hygiene, sanitation and dirty water. In the oceans, deoxyginated dead zones caused by a discharge of untested waste water is currently affecting an estimated 240 000 square kilometres of marine ecosystems, impacting on livelihoods, fisheries, and food chains," he said.

President Jacob Zuma also addressed delegates, calling on world leaders to join in the effort of conserving water.

He said solutions to some of the biggest challenges involving the precious resource are some of the objectives to come out of the summit.

He's also praised the work and dedication shown by some world leaders.

"One of the key initiatives by the panel which is being launched today is the access to water and sanitation services for 10 billion people initiative. We should all commit to achieving the pledge of leaving no one behind, globally," he said.

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