Tag Archives: MDGs

Al Jazeera’s Inside Story discusses new WHO/UNICEF report on water and sanitation MDGs


The UN announced that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to cut the number of people who do not have access to safe drinking water by half, has been met five years before the 2015 deadline. In contrast, the sanitation MDG target will not be met.

The report issued by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) says that between 1990 and 2010, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources such as piped supplies and protected wells.

Does this really show an early success for the MDG? How reliable is the UN report on safe drinking water?

Joining presenter Adrian Finighan on Inside Story are guests: Patrick Moriarty, in charge of the International Programme for the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, a Netherlands-based NGO; Joakim Harlin, a senior water resources advisor at the UNDP; and Muhammad Jahangir, the founder of Better Tomorrow, an NGO focusing on water sanitation.

More information:

Advances in sanitation bypassing the poor and rural communities

The UN’s latest Millennium Development Goals Report notes that progress in sanitation has largely bypassed the poor while rural populations remain disadvantaged.

An analysis of trends over the period 1995-2008 for three countries in Southern Asia shows that improvements in sanitation disproportionately benefited the better off, while sanitation coverage for the poorest 40 per cent of households hardly increased. Although gaps in sanitation coverage between urban and rural areas are narrowing, rural populations remain at a distinct disadvantage in a number of regions.

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Rwanda: Nation Targets 100 Percent Sanitation Coverage By 2012

Apr 20, 2011 – The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Marie Claire Mukasine, yesterday announced that there would be 100 percent sanitation coverage by 2012, and stressed on accelerating strategies to achieve this target.

She made the remarks while addressing a preparatory meeting of the forthcoming third African Sanitation and Hygiene conference (AfricaSan 3), slated for July in Kigali.

Mukasine added that the overall objective is to get Africa on track to meet the sanitation Millenium Development Goal; the focus has to be on building and sustaining momentum through improved action plans and renewed commitments.

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SuSanA engagement in the five year drive for sustainable sanitation

Concept note: SuSanA engagement in the five year drive for sustainable sanitation

Link to Concept Note

As a follow-up to International Year of Sanitation (2008) and in the effort to attain sanitation and hygiene Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets, Sustainable Sanitation 5 Year Drive to 2015 (5YD) was conceptualized by the United Nation Secretariat Advisory Board (UNSGAB) members. The idea being that, ‘the 5YD is an advocacy vehicle to keep sanitation high on the political agenda, promote national coordination, improve sanitation monitoring while supporting sustainable sanitation solutions – all in all in an effort to meet the sanitation target. The Drive aims to invigorate, galvanize and re-focus international, regional and national activities in the field of sanitation and maintain the momentum through raising awareness and facilitating action. The concept was drafted based on a recommendation made in The UN-Water Global Annual Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS) report of 2010.

The Five Year Drive was officially adopted by Resolution A/RES/65/153 of the UN General Assembly on December 20, 2010 and now serves as a tool for engaging countries as well as non-state stakeholders for improving access to sanitation worldwide.

The official launch of 5YD will take place in the presence of the UN Secretary General during the UNSGAB meeting to be held from 21-23 June 2011 in New York City. In addition regional launches are planned at the 4th South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN IV) in April 2011 and at the 3rd African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSan3) in July 2011.

Read the full text of UN Resolution 65/153

Proper sanitation key to global health: WaterAid Australia CEO interviewed on Radio Australia

Adam Laidlaw

Adam Laidlaw. Photo: WaterAid

“The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health will not succeed, in my view, without safe sanitation embedded in its implementation”, says WaterAid Australia CEO Adam Laidlaw in an interview on Radio Australia. The Global Strategy, Laidlaw was referring to, was launched on 22 September 2010 by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the UN global summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “What we didn’t hear from this summit”, says Laidlaw, “was that sanitation underpins the success of a whole range of MDGs”.

Listen to the complete radio interview (Radio Australia, 24 Sep 2010).

Heads of State and UN Secretary General urge action on sanitation and water

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, together with the President of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, today [22 September 2010] called for immediate action on sanitation – the most off-track Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target in sub-Saharan Africa.

The call came on the final day of the MDG Summit, [at a side event Addressing the Global Water and Sanitation Challenge: The Key to the MDGs, organized by South Korea, Liberia, Senegal, Tajikistan and USA].

Also pledging their support at the event were many high-level figures including former UN General Assembly President and current WaterAid in Sweden Chair, Jan Eliasson, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake  [Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and UNSGAB Chair His Royal Highness the Prince of the Netherlands].

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Burkina Faso: race to achieve goals on sanitation

The government of Burkina Faso has embarked on the construction of 55,000 latrines each year to improve access to proper sanitation for the population from the present 10 percent to 54 percent by 2015.

According to the authorities, the average rate of access to sanitation in urban areas is currently 20 percent, while in rural areas, it is as low as one percent in some areas.

Burkina Faso will invest 24 million dollars in each of the next five years. The government, which now spends $8 million a year thanks to support from donors, plans to double, even triple its own annual contribution of around $2 million from the national budget.

“When you look at all sectors, things are moving. But on sanitation, a domain so fundamental to quality of life, we can see that we are very far behind,” Laurent Sédogo, Burkinabé minister for agriculture, water and fisheries resources told IPS.

“To put it plainly, out of every 1,000 people, only 100 have adequate (sanitation) infrastructure. The other 900 must take to the bush and, to protect their modesty, many wait until the dead of night because of the loss of vegetation,” Sédogo said.

Amélie Ouédraogo, a resident of the Tanghin neighbourhood of the Burkinabé capital Ouagadougou, said that construction of latrines will permit the dead to regain their peace. “Even the cemeteries are not safe when night falls. We see people headed there, but we cannot prevent them from relieving themselves.”

According to Ouédraogo, the situation is even more dire during the rainy season, because the water which flows through the streets, a favourite playground for children, is polluted. “We have cases of diarrhoea, but people refuse to make the link between these illnesses and their causes.”

Mahamoudou Sana, a merchant in one of Ouaga’s livestock markets said, “Once we have latrines, both we and our customers can make ablutions and wash ourselves before prayers. Previously, we had to hide ourselves in tall bush to relieve ourselves during the day.”

The ministry of health underlines that the absence of toilets leads to illness, notably diarrhoea, which is responsible for 58 percent of child deaths in Burkina.

According to non-governmental organisation WaterAid, some 2,000 children die every day. The NGO adds that simply using toilets could reduce the incidence of diarrhoea by 40 percent; clean toilets, combined with safe drinking water and good hygiene, cases of diarrhoea could be reduced by 90 percent.

WaterAid is worried that 90 percent of African nations will not achieve the Millennium Development Goal on sanitation, and says that African heads of state – who re-committed themselves to promoting maternal health at the July summit of the African Union – to resolve questions of sanitation if they want to reduce child and maternal mortality.

In rural areas, where 80 percent of Burkina Faso’s population lives, the government’s plan is for 395,000 households to build toilets, as well as the construction of 12,300 public latrines. The programme also foresees 222,000 new household toilets in urban centres, alongside 900 public latrines in schools, health centres, markets and public transit points.

The Burkinabé president, Blaise Compaoré, personally participated in the launch of the campaign, with an eye to enlisting both the general population and international financial partners to make sanitation a national priority.

The government offensive comes after finding that the pace of progress is insufficient to attain the goal on sanitation in a context of rapid population growth. According to the last census in 2006, Burkina Faso’s growth rate of three percent is one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa and the world.

“Across West and Central Africa, coverage in urban areas varies between 30 and 60 percent, while in rural areas the rate is from 1 to 22 percent,” says Armah Klutsé, of the Regional Centre for Low-cost Water Supply and Sanitation (known by its French acronym, CREPA).

With headquarters in Ouagadougou, CREPA is active in 17 West and Central African countries, where it supports governments in the design and implementation of policy on sanitation and potable water.

“With this display of political will, it seems that action will be taken to achieve (sanitation goals),” Klutsé says.

Source: Brahima Ouédraogo, Inter Press Service / allAfrica.com, 31 July 2010