Inequalities in drinking water and sanitation persist

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Children collect water from a water-pump well. UN Photo/Fred Noy

Too many people still lack a basic level of drinking water and sanitation, according to the World Heath Organization (WHO).

A new report by WHO and the UN's Children's Fund (UNICEF) says despite some progress, sharp geographic and economic inequalities in access to improved water facilities still persist around the world.

Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director for Public Health said the vast majority of those without improved sanitation are poorer people living in rural areas.

” We have more than 700 million people which still lack ready access to improved sources of drinking water. Almost half of them they live in Sub-Saharan Africa. And more than one third of the global population, they don't use an improved sanitation facility. One billion they still practice open defecation. (0'22")

Nonetheless, the report highlights some important progress.

It says there is a narrowing disparity in access to cleaner water and better sanitation between rural and urban areas.

In 1990, 95% people in urban areas could drink improved water, compared with 62% people in rural ones.

By 2012, 82% of those in rural areas had access to improved water.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’22″

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