28 September 2008 [MEDIAGLOBAL]: Since 1990, 1.6 billion people have gained access to safe drinking water, and more than 1.2 billion have gained access to improved sanitation. Much of this progress is attributable to the seventh Millennium Development Goal (MDG): Ensure Environmental Stability. Over the past decade and a half, improved sanitation services have reached an approximated 76 million people a year.
“This is significant progress. Yet current trends are disturbing. [This] issue affects the lives of every human being. Safe drinking water and basic sanitation are intrinsic to human survival, well-being and dignity”, said UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon at the Sanitation and Water Supply ‘One World One Dream: Sanitation and Water for All’ Meeting.
To meet the sanitation target by 2015, 173 million people will need to gain access to sanitation services every year until the MDG deadline.