Arsenic contamination in groundwater
UNICEF supports countries in providing clean drinking water for children as a fundamental right stipulated by Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. About 700,000 children under five die each year from diarrhoea, mainly caused by human waste in drinking water. Water safety must address both biological and environmental contaminants.
UNICEF works with governments to help affected communities find alternative, safe water sources. Our support is based on five tenets: assisting government water safety planning; assisting governments in monitoring arsenic levels; marking wells that should not be used for drinking or cooking; finding low-cost alternative, safe water supplies; and helping change knowledge, attitudes and practices so that vulnerable populations can protect themselves. UNICEF’s experience with supporting behaviour change is thus a key asset.