Tag Archives: MDGs

Reaching the MDG target for sanitation in Africa : a call for realism

An exclusive focus on reaching the MDG sanitation targets in Africa will have a “detrimental effect on the sustainability of the established infrastructure and may leave out the most important components of sanitation programs i.e. the motivation to use sanitary facilities and the need to change personal hygiene practices to improve health status”. This one of the conclusions of a new policy brief published by Danida.

The brief added that “the best use of public resources in the sanitation sector is likely to focus on building demand for sanitation, establishing clear policies on subsidies, building capacity among local government entities to enable coordination and monitoring of progress and quality of service, facilitating the creation of a commercially viable private sanitation service, allocating financial resources to essential large scale sanitation infrastructure and supporting educational institutions to produce a new generation of professionals in the sanitation sector. Once the financial regime for these long term elements has been worked out, additional funding can be earmarked or sought for specific short term interventions, including hardware subsidies based on micro-credit schemes or subsidised hardware sold through commercial outlets”.

Konradsen, F., Bjerre, J. and Evans, B. (2010). Reaching the MDG target for sanitation in Africa : a call for realism. Copenhagen, Denmark, Danida, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 50 p.
ISBN: 978-87-7087-299-7 (print version)
ISBN: 978-87-7087-300-0 (internet version)
Download PDF

This leaflet contains a set of Good Practice Notes on challenges in connection with provision of sanitation services from the perspective of international development assistance. It contains a synthesis paper:

  • Reaching the MDG Target for Sanitation in Africa – A Call for Realism

and four issue papers:

  • Building political commitment for sanitation in a fragmented institutional landscape
  • Hooked on sanitation subsidies
  • Challenges in supporting hygiene behavior change
  • Measuring progress in sanitation

Brazil: sanitation MDG could be reached by 2025 – study

Brazil could meet its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in sanitation by 2025, a full 10 years behind schedule, according to a study by NGO Instituto Trata Brasil (ITB).

The MDGs require the country to halve the urban population without sustainable access to basic sanitation services by 2015, which would have required an average 2.77% expansion in coverage each year from 1990-2015.

From 1990-2006, the deficit fell an average of 1.31%/y. At this rate, the goal would have taken 56 years to meet. In 2007 and 2008, however, the average rate fell by 4.18%/y. If this rhythm is kept up, the country will reach the goals in 16 years, the release said.

The creation of the cities ministry in 2003, changes in sanitation laws and the county’s growth acceleration plan (PAC) have contributed to the upward trend.

ITB president Raul Pinho and Marcelo Cortes Neri, head of the center for social research at Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) presented the results of the study in São Paulo [at the end of November 2009].

“Giving PAC all the credit, however, may be a little premature,” Neri said, adding: “Local political decisions such as separating city centers from suburbs have also contributed.”

While 51% of the population now has access to sewage services, it is still low compared to other basic services such as electricity (98.6%), water (82%) and trash collection (79%).

A recent study released by the World Health Organization shows that 18mn Brazilians do not have bathrooms, according to Pinho.

“This is an embarrassing statistic as only six other countries have lower figures,” Pinho said, adding: “We need political will and an overall social awareness” to overcome the problems of basic sanitation in the country.

Source: Daniel Bland, BNamericas.com [subscription site], 26 Nov 2009

East Africa: Sanitation – ‘This Is the Way We Live’

In East Africa, not one country is on track to meet Millennium Development Goal Seven, which aims to reduce by half the number of people without access to clean drinking water and decent sanitation by 2015.

Despite governments in the region being signatories to several declarations on improving sanitation, many East African households still lack access to flush toilets or pit latrines. Open defecation is widespread, and ‘flying toilets’, where people defecate in plastic bags and throw them away at night are the rule rather than the exception in many informal settlements.

“This is the way we live. We do not have toilets, and no place to safely dispose of our waste,” said Nicholas Ambeyo [from Kibera, one of Africa's largest slums, in Nairobi, Kenya]. “Because of this, and the lack of sufficient water, and the open sewers that run through our houses, we are at a risk of contracting diseases.”

[...] Toilet coverage in Kenya is still low, with latrines available to less than 50 percent of the population, according to James Gesami, the country’s assistant minister for Public Health and Sanitation.

[...] “Sanitation is a newly thought-out issue and we have not given adequate resources to that sector, but things are changing now,” Gesami told IPS. Government statistics show that budgetary allocation to sanitation in Kenya currently stands at 13 million dollars per year, too little for the country to reach the sanitation MDG. It is estimated that the country will require about 40 million dollars per year if is to achieve the MDG by the set deadline of 2015.

[...] Sudan is [also] far from achieving the sanitation MDG, especially in war-affected areas. Access to improved sanitation in Southern Sudan is at 6.4 percent, way below the 2015 target of 53 percent. [I]n the north [it] stands at 39.9 percent, edging closer to the 2015 target of 67 percent. Minimal budgetary allocations for sanitation have made it difficult for the government to provide the majority of poor citizens with basic toilet and latrine facilities. This has been blamed for the widespread outbreaks of diarrhoeal ailments, according to Elobeid Mohammed, coordinator of Sudan National Discourse, a water and sanitation non-governmental body.

“Diarrhoea, especially among children is common during autumn because of the rains and blocked sewers. These are diseases that can be prevented by ensuring access to toilets and hygiene. By doing this, the government can save money and pump it to other crucial sectors of development,” Mohammed told IPS.

Charles Hakizimana, chairman of the African Ministers’ Council on Water, says efforts to improve latrine coverage have been jeopardised by extreme poverty, illustrating the situation with an example from Burundi.

“There are cases where development agencies have provided material to communities to dig latrines, but [beneficiaries] sell them and continue defecating in the bush. Often times the people have said: “give us food first, there is no need to construct pit latrines when we do not have anything to put in them,”” Hakizimana, said.

In addition, there are social obstacles to providing sanitation to all. For instance, in several parts of East Africa, it is taboo for fathers-in-law to share a latrine with his daughters-in-law or mothers-in-law to share with sons-in-law. [...] Constructing separate latrines for different family members is far too costly.

Source: Joyce Mulama, IPS, 19 Dec 2008

Pakistan, NWFP: current status of water and sanitation related MDGs

The Water and Sanitation Program-South Asia (WSP-SA) office in Islamabad, Pakistan has researched the current status of water and sanitation related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).


NWFP has already met its quantitative MDG Targets in sanitation: Household surveys indicate that 75% of the population has access to a latrine, with 95% access to latrines in urban areas and 71% in rural areas.

However, data from the 2001/2 NWFP Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) suggests that as many as half of these latrines may be unsanitary. A tradition of ‘open defecation’ in NWFP means that even if latrines are present in the home they are not always used. In addition, the coverage of latrines in public places (markets, bus stands, railways, industry) is poor.

Water Supply

NWFP is ‘on track’ to meet its quantitative MDG Targets in drinking water supply: According to the trends reported from successive Federal Bureau of Statistic Surveys, 71% of the population of NWFP (91% of the urban population and 64% of the rural population) have access to an improved source.

Access to an improved source of water does not necessarily mean that this water is safe. In urban areas, intermittent supplies results in contamination within the piped distribution networks. In rural areas, failures in the treatment and protection of improved sources also lead to contamination. The extents of these risks are such that only 38% of the water accessed by consumers is estimated to be chemically and bacteriologically safe.

Read more: WESNews / drinking water-Pakistan Google Group, Sep 2008

Millions to benefit from UK-Dutch water and sanitation initiative

Millions of people in Africa and Asia will be provided with clean drinking water and decent sanitation thanks to a new joint initiative from the UK and the Netherlands.

Announcing UK support for the “Framework for Action”, DFID Minister Gareth Thomas spoke of the need for greater progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on water and sanitation.

The initiative, which was launched on 24 September at the United Nations High-level Event on the Millennium Development Goals in New York, will allocate £5 million (6 million Euros) over five years to an annual report and high level meeting focused on reviewing progress. The first of these meetings will be held in 2009 and convened by Unicef.

A further joint Dutch-UK commitment was made of £85 million (100 million Euros) over the same period to help up to 20 poor countries develop and implement their own national water and sanitation plans.

Source: DFID, 25 Sep 2008

Other committments made during the”One World One Dream: Sanitation and Water for All” event at the UN High Level Meeting include:

  • Japan  – establishment of a Water Security Action Team for Africa to provide safe drinking water for 6.5 million people and implement a water supply capacity-building program that would train 5,000 people over the next five years;
  • Tajikistan – hosting the International Freshwater Forum in 2010;
  • The Netherlands – providing access to safe drinking water and sanitation for at least 50 million people by 2015 having already signed various agreements that will benefit almost 30 million people, at a cost of around €1.3 b;
  • Germany will continue to train Central Asian water experts.

Source: UN High-level Event on the Millennium Development Goals : Committing to action: achieving the Millennium Development Goals : Compilation of Partnership Events and Commitments, 25 Sep 2008

UN-Water Global Annual Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS)

The Global Annual Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) is a UN-Water pilot initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO). UN-Water GLAAS constitutes a new approach to reporting on progress in the sanitation and drinking-water sectors that aims to strengthen evidence-based policy-making towards and beyond the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Read all and down load the report

India not on path to achieve UN millennium goals

NEW DELHI: Halfway into the period timeline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) suggested by the UN, India seems to be slipping on most of the eight goals, as per the latest findings of the international organisation.  (…)

(…) Around 40 million households in rural areas do not have a safe source for drinking water and over 100 million rural households live without access to sanitation facilities (…)

Read all The Economic Times, Part I and Part II

World Health Organization: 2.5 Billion Live With Poor Sanitation Facilities

UNITED NATIONS – / MaximsNews Network / 30 July 2008

Every day, over 2.5 billion people suffer from a lack of access to improved sanitation and nearly 1.2 billion practise open defecation, the riskiest sanitary practice of all, according to a report issued today by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. The programme is the official UN mechanism tasked with monitoring progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Target 7c on drinking water supply and sanitation.

The report titled “Progress on drinking water and sanitation – special focus on sanitation,” comes halfway through the International Year of Sanitation. (…)

(…) Though the practice of open defecation is on the decline worldwide, 18% of the world’s population, totalling 1.2 billion people, still practise it. In southern Asia, some 778 million people still rely on this risky sanitation practice. (…)

Read all MaximsNewsNetwork

South Asia not on track to meet MDG sanitation goals: UNICEF- WHO report

South Asia has the highest rate of open defecation in the world at 48 percent, and is closely followed by sub-Saharan Africa (28 percent), says a  report issued today by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Drinking-water Supply and Sanitation (JMP).

According to the report,  63 percent (750 million people) of all open defecation takes place in South Asia. It also has the lowest rural coverage in the world at 23 percent, and the largest urban-rural disparity in the world (57 percent to 23 percent). (…)

Read all Newspost Online

Ghana: Millennium development goals beyond reach for Africa- says report

Presenting the findings of the report “MDGs and the Environment- Agenda Inclusive Sustainable Development” in Accra last Friday, an Economist of the World Bank, Punam Chuhan-Pole, noted that the aggregate picture of Sub-Saharan Africa hid the progress made in many African countries towards achieving the MDGs.

(…) The report said Ghana ranked in the top five performers in the rural water sector in Africa due to generous assistance from development partners such as CIDA, IDA, UNICEF but criticized the country’s urban water sector. It slammed the country for not doing well in sanitation, describing it as badly off track, ranking in the bottom three in Sub-Saharan Africa. (…)

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