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Matt Damon on safe drinking water mission for developing nations

Washington, Mon, 28 Nov 2011 ANI

Washington, Nov 28 (ANI): Matt Damon is on a mission to improve access to clean water, one of the world's most precious resources in the world.


The 41-year-old actor is the co-founder of, a non-profit developmental aid organization, which aims to provide aid to regions of developing countries that do not have access to safe drinking water and sanitation.


"It's really hard for people like us to relate to it, because it's just never been something we had to think about," ABC News quoted the actor as saying on 'This Week'.


"Clean water is only as far away as the nearest tap, and there are taps everywhere.


"There's a faucet everywhere. But the reality is, the water in our toilets is cleaner than the water that most people are drinking."


While water covers 70 percent of the earth's surface, less than 3 percent is drinkable.


Beyond the challenges of drought and overuse in some parts of the world, lack of access to clean water has a wide impact.


The figures are staggering as nearly a billion people - one in eight people worldwide lack access to safe, clean drinking water, mostly in large portions of Africa and South Asia, and about 2.5 billion are without proper sanitation.


More than 3 million people die every year from water-related disease, with a child dying every 20 seconds due to lack of clean water and sanitation.


It's these kinds of startling statistics that moved the 'Good Will Hunting' star to team up with environmentalist Gary White in 2009 to start


Damon said he was inspired to take action to improve access to clean water after meeting a 14-year-old girl in Zambia going out to collect water for her family from a local well.


"It just hit me that had someone not had the foresight to sink a bore well a mile from where she lived, she wouldn't be in school, because her entire life would revolve around scavenging for water.


"And she wouldn't have any hope, she wouldn't have any dreams.


"She'd be stuck in this kind of death spiral of poverty," he added. (ANI)


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