World health organization

10 facts on sanitation

Children playing in water.
WHO/Anenden Harry

Lack of sanitation facilities forces people to defecate in the open, in rivers or near areas where children play or food is prepared. This increases the risk of transmitting disease. The Ganges river in India has 1.1 million litres of raw sewage dumped into it every minute, a startling figure considering that one gram of faeces may contain 10 million viruses, one million bacteria, 1000 parasite cysts and 100 worm eggs.

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