NIAMEY, Niger, 17 July 2008 — The latest UNICEF-World Health Programme Joint Monitoring Programme report focuses on sanitation improvements. The report finds that while more people are drinking water from safe sources, far too few are using improved sanitation. Niger has one of the lowest rates of improved sanitation, and problems remain with water supply there.
Unsafe water and poor sanitation and hygiene are among the underlying causes of Niger’s high child mortality rate. Water-borne diseases account for nearly 20 per cent of deaths in children under the age of five here. Less than 45 per cent of the population has access to clean water, and less than 10 per cent to adequate sanitation.
These statistics are well below Niger’s targets for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
UNICEF is supporting the Government of Niger by working with communities to improve access to safe water and household water treatment and sanitation. By raising awareness of good hygiene practices such as hand washing and using family latrines, the country can prevent diarrhoea and reduce child deaths.
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