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From Sahra News 

12/18/2007

Summary by Louise Shaler
Source: CNN.com by Rachel Oliver

International - According to the World Bank, 88% of all diseases, averaged worldwide, are caused by unsafe drinking water and inadequate sanitation. Dirty water is to blame for 4 billion cases of diarrhea, 300 million cases of mosquito-borne malaria, and 200 million cases of schistosomiasis (bilharzia) each year. Figures from the United Nations add 1.5 million cases of hepatitis A and 133 million cases of intestinal worms. Water-related diseases are the second-biggest killer of children worldwide, according to the humanitarian group Water Aid. Controlling water pollution is an expensive proposition, however. Statistics from UNESCO, Worldwatch Institute, and other international groups show that up to 500 million tons of farm runoff, heavy metals, solvents, and toxic sludge are discharged into the world's water supply every year, most of it untreated. Arsenic occurs naturally in the groundwater of many countries, as well as being a byproduct of mining. Repairing this damage is beyond the means of developing nations, but aid from donor countries is lower today than it was ten years ago.