World Water Forum in Marseille tackles access to clean water and sanitation
French Prime Minister Francois Fillion has described as “unacceptable” the death toll from health risks associated with a lack of clean water and sanitation.
He was speaking at the opening of the sixth World Water Forum in the southern city of Marseille which gathers together 20,000 participants from 140 countries including ministers for the environment and several heads of state from francophone Africa.
“The number of human being who have no access to lean water is in the billions,” Fillon said. “Each year we mourn millions of dead from the health risks that this causes… the world community must rise and tackle it.”
In a separate move, a massive UN report described water problems in many parts of the
world as chronic and warned that without a crackdown on waste the situation would worsen as demand for food rises and climate change intensifies.
"Climate change is a real and growing threat. Without good planning and adaptation, hundreds of millions of people are at risk of hunger, disease, energy shortages and poverty," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.
Demand for food will increase by some 70 per cent by 2050, which will lead to a nearly 20 per cent increase in global agricultural water consumption, the UN's Fourth World Water Development Report said.
Already, more than 2.5 billion people are in need of decent sanitation and nearly one in 10 has yet to gain access to "improved" drinking water, as defined under the UN's 2015 development goals.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe