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  Dirty water killing thousands of children
Updated 22 March 2002, 13.27
Water pump at a slum
Almost 6,000 children die every day because they don't have clean water, say two charities.

Fact File
Water facts
22 March is United Nations' World Water Day
Access to clean water and sanitation is a basic human right
In 1998 war in Africa killed 308,000 people, but diarrhoea killed six times as many
Many children suffer anaemia and don't grow properly because of bad water
Dirty water carries millions of parasites

It's now "one of the world's most urgent health crises", say WaterAid and Tearfund.

City overload

The children who suffer most live in overcrowded cities, like Bangladesh.

Millions of people move from the countryside to cities every year. Because there's no room for them, they have to live in slum areas with no toilets or clean water.

They have to go to the toilet in the streets. So any water they have to drink gets polluted.

Simple solutions

Rubbish in the slums
Many children have to live in rubbish

Now charities want governments to help. They have published a report which says death and diseases could be prevented cheaply and easily.

A simple toilet could be built in India for 3 or 4.

And if world governments gave 11bn a year, by 2015 it could cut the number of people with no clean water by half.

That's the same amount spent on pet food each year in Europe and the US.

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