In the past fifteen years, the number of children who die from diarrhea caused by poor sanitation and hygiene has been cut in half according to the World Health Organization and UNICEF. However, it is the lack of access to toilets and unsanitary social norms that are threatening to undermine the global efforts to improve drinking water and increase the rates of survival for children. According to Sanjay Wijesekera, the head of UNICEF’s global water, sanitation and hygiene program, 2.4 billion have no access to toilets. And 946 million people defecate in the open, which is what is making it difficult to keep water supplies clean.
According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, an improved drinking source would be one that is protected from all forms of contamination, meaning that more and more people need access to toilets. Therefore, a huge investment will be needed to improve hygiene and to teach habits, as well as more innovative technologies to help those who may not already have access to clean water.