On March 22, let’s celebrate World Water Day with children around the world | UNICEF Canada: For Every Child Skip to main content

Today, around 2.1 billion people do not have access to safe water. Many children spend hours every day walking to collect water, sometimes missing out on the chance to go to school. This journey can be dangerous. For some, this daily routine to collect water can disrupt their lives. They fear attack, dread walking such long distances and miss out on the chance to go to school or to play with their friends.

By building essential infrastructure, as well as mobilizing and involving communities in the most remote areas of the world, UNICEF and its partners are working to provide clean and safe water to children, which is essential for them to survive and thrive.

Access to safe water helps children learn

When children are not busy collecting water, they have time to go to school. When schools have clean water, toilets and soap for handwashing, children have a healthy learning environment, and girls are more likely to attend when they have their period.

Water Health Bundle $20: help save children by providing tools to purify water, stay clean and treat waterborne illnesses.

children water point Burundi
[© UNICEF/UNI180029/Colfs]

In Burundi, children fill their cups at a water point built by UNICEF at Kanyosha III primary school in Bujumbura.

children washing hands in Ukraine
[© UNICEF/UN0126779/Filippov]

In Ukraine, children wash hands at the canteen of Secondary School No 20 in Toretsk, Donetsk region,

Access to safe water helps keep children healthy

Every day over 700 children die from diseases related to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene. When children drink, bathe and wash their clothes in safe water, they have a better chance of growing up without disease.

Water Purification Tablets $31: provide families with clean water for drinking, bathing and household use.

Baby bathing in Burkina Faso
[© UNICEF/UNI123744/Asselin]

In Burkina Faso, two-month-old Faridatou smiles up at her grandmother, Kongo Zeta, who is rubbing shea butter on the baby’s skin after giving her a bath.

girl drinking water in Laos
[© UNICEF/UNI182989/Noorani]

In the Lao People's Democratic Republic, a girl smiles while drinking water at a water point in the village of Adone, Ta Oi District, Saravane Province.

Access to safe water gives children a chance to play

For at least 263 million people it takes over 30 minutes per round trip to collect water. When kids have safe water near their home, they don't have to worry about the long and often dangerous journey to collect it. They have time to play with their friends and to be children. 

Local Water Pump $560: by providing a water pump to a community, you will improve the lives of families and children in need of a clean water source.

Children playing under a water tap in Nigeria
[© UNICEF/UN055929/Gilbertson VII Photo]

In Nigeria, children play under a water tap during a recess at a UNICEF-supported primary school inside Bukasi Internally Displaced People's camp, in Maiduguri, Borno State.

two young girls play in the Democratic Republic of Congo
[© UNICEF/UN0149863/Schermbrucker]

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, two young girls play on the banks of the Luapala River at dusk in Kisenga, Haut-Katanga Province.

In times of crisis and stability, UNICEF provides access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene to children around the world, even in the hardest to reach places. Last year alone, UNICEF reached almost 30 million people living in humanitarian emergencies with safe water.