MDG target on access to drinking water met

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Access to clean drinking water

The world has met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, according to a report issued today by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The report says over the past decade, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells.

Globally, 89 per cent of the world population or 6.1 billion people now have access to improved water sources which is one per cent more than the MDG target.

The report however says many countries in Sub Saharan Africa remain off track, but there were success stories in Malawi, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Namibia and Gambia.

Sanjay Wijesekera from UNICEF says despite progress made in the provision of water, access to sanitation remains a major stumbling block with 2.5 billion people having no access to sanitation.

"Sanitation remains off track and this is a basic human right essential for health and dignity. And even in this the 21 century despite all the progress we have yet to eliminate the practice of open defecation that is so harmful to children's health. And open defecation occurs even in those regions  where there has been a lot of progress such as northern Africa and eastern Asia. And yet we know that something can be done about it. Rwanda for example provided improved sanitation to 3.6 million people since 1995 that is 34 per cent of its current population. So it is possible to do something about it."

Duration: 44″

Filed under Today's News.
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