Slow and un­steady

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

SUB-SA­HA­RAN Africa and South Asia con­tinue to see stunted progress in achiev­ing the Mil­len­nium De­vel­op­ment Goals (MDGs) for drink­ing wa­ter ac­cess and san­i­ta­tion. A re­cently re­leased global progress re­port by the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion and the United Na­tions Chil­dren's Fund high­lights the poor growth of the two re­gions, while say­ing 116 coun­tries have met the goals for drink­ing wa­ter ac­cess and 77 coun­tries for san­i­ta­tion.

It says de­spite ac­cel­er­ated ef­forts to im­prove drink­ing wa­ter ac­cess, South Asia and sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa con­tinue to have the low­est lev­els of cov­er­age. As a re­sult, two out of ev­ery five people with­out ac­cess to drink­ing wa­ter live in Africa. The re­port says 46 coun­tries still have less than half their pop­u­la­tion with­out ac­cess to im­proved san­i­ta­tion fa­cil­ity. The re­port also says South Asia is im­prov­ing its san­i­ta­tion cov­er­age at a higher rate than sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa.

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