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WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme Report 2010: Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water

Fast Facts

An improved sanitation facility is one that hygienically separates human excreta from human contact.

An improved drinking-water source is one that by the nature of its construction adequately protects the source from outside contamination, in particular from faecal matter.

All the information in this report is based on data available up to and including 2008

SANITATION

  • 2.6 billion people or 39 per cent of the world’s population live without access to improved sanitation. The vast majority live in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In the developed regions almost the entire population (99 per cent) used improved facilities as compared to 52 per cent in developing regions.
  • At current rates of progress the world will miss the MDG sanitation target by almost 1 billion people, which claims to: “halve, by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation,” by 13 per cent. And the MDGs are not the end of the sanitation challenge. Even if the target is met some 1.7 billion people will still not have access to improved sanitation facilities.
  • Rural/urban disparities are particularly apparent in sub-Saharan Africa, and the Caribbean, Southern Asia and Oceania where improved sanitation coverage is highest among the urban population despite the vast majority living in rural areas.
  • 751 million people share their sanitation facilities with other households or only use public facilities.

Open defecation

  • A global decline in open defecation has been recorded. The proportion of the world’s population that practices open defecation has declined by more than one third from 25 per cent in 1990 to 17 per cent in 2008.
  • However some 1.1 billion people still defecate in the open. Eleven countries, (India, Indonesia, China, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Sudan, Nepal, Brazil, Niger and Bangladesh) are home to 81 per cent of them.
  • Open defecation is largely a rural phenomenon, most widely practiced in Southern Asian and Sub-Saharan Africa. Even in these two regions, declines in open defecation have been recorded, with a fall from 66 per cent of the population in 1990 to 44 per cent in 2008 in Southern Asia, and a corresponding decline in Sub-Saharan Africa from 36 per cent to27 per cent.

WATER

  •  5.9 billion people, or 87 per cent of the world’s population, and 84 per cent of the population living in the developing world now use drinking water from safer, improved sources. At current trends the world will meet or even exceed the water MDG target.
  • 3.8 billion people, or 57 per cent of the world’s population, get their drinking water from a piped connection that provides running water in their homes or compound.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa and the Oceania are the areas that are lagging behind. Just 60 per cent of the population in Sub-Saharan African and 50 per cent of the population in Oceania use improved sources of drinking-water.
  • In China, 89 per cent of the population of 1.3 billion has access to drinking-water from improved sources, up from 67 per cent in 1990. In India, 88 per cent of the population of 1.2 billion has access, as compared to 72 per cent in 1990.

    Key Terms

    Goal 7, target 7c of the Millennium Development Goals aims at halving by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

    WATER

Access to safe drinking water is measured by the percentage of the population using improved drinking-water sources.

  • Drinking water is water used for domestic purposes, drinking, cooking and personal hygiene;
  • Safe drinking water is water considered safe if it meets certain microbiological and chemical standards on drinking water quality;
  • Access to safe drinking water is measured against the proxy indicator: the proportion of people using improved drinking water sources: household connection; public tandpipe; borehole; protected dug well; protected spring; and rainwater collection.
  • On premises piped drinking water connections – running water in dwelling, yard or plot.
  • Improved drinking water source is a source that, by nature of its construction, adequately protects the water from outside contamination, in particular from faecal matter. Common examples:
    o Piped household water connection
    o Public standpipe
    o Borehole
    o Protected dug well
    o Protected spring
    o Rainwater collection
  • Unimproved drinking water sources include:
    o Unprotected dug well
    o Unprotected spring
    o Surface water (river, dam, lake, pond, stream, canal, irrigation channel)
    o Vendor-provided water (cart with small tank/drum, tanker truck)
    o Bottled water 
    o Tanker truck water

SANITATION

Access to sanitation is measured by the percentage of the population using improved sanitation facilities.

  • Improved sanitation includes sanitation facilities that hygienically separate human excreta from human contact.
  • Access to basic sanitation is measured against the proxy indicator: the proportion of people using improved sanitation facilities (such as those with sewer connections, septic system connections, pour-flush latrines, ventilated improved pit latrines and pit latrines with a slab or covered pit)\
  • Shared sanitation facilities are otherwise-acceptable improved sanitation facilities that are shared between two or more households. Shared facilities include public toilets and are not considered improved.
  • Unimproved sanitation facilities do not ensure a hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact and include:
    o Pit latrines without slabs or platforms or open pit
    o Hanging latrines
    o Bucket latrines
    o Open defecation in fields, forests, bushes, bodies of water or other open spaces, or disposal of human feces with other forms of solid waste.

 

 

 

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