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Does global progress on sanitation really lag behind water? An analysis of global progress on community- and household-level access to safe water and sanitation.

Cumming O, Elliott M, Overbo A, Bartram J - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: For drinking water the benchmark is community-level access whilst for sanitation it is household-level access, so a pit latrine shared between households does not count toward the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target.Our results demonstrate that the "sanitation deficit" is apparent only when household-level sanitation access is contrasted with community-level water access.As both drinking water and sanitation access yield greater benefits at the household-level than at the community-level, we conclude that any post-2015 goals should consider a household-level benchmark for both.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Disease Control, Faculty of Infectious Tropical Disease, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Safe drinking water and sanitation are important determinants of human health and wellbeing and have recently been declared human rights by the international community. Increased access to both were included in the Millennium Development Goals under a single dedicated target for 2015. This target was reached in 2010 for water but sanitation will fall short; however, there is an important difference in the benchmarks used for assessing global access. For drinking water the benchmark is community-level access whilst for sanitation it is household-level access, so a pit latrine shared between households does not count toward the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target. We estimated global progress for water and sanitation under two scenarios: with equivalent household- and community-level benchmarks. Our results demonstrate that the "sanitation deficit" is apparent only when household-level sanitation access is contrasted with community-level water access. When equivalent benchmarks are used for water and sanitation, the global deficit is as great for water as it is for sanitation, and sanitation progress in the MDG-period (1990-2015) outstrips that in water. As both drinking water and sanitation access yield greater benefits at the household-level than at the community-level, we conclude that any post-2015 goals should consider a household-level benchmark for both.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Regressions of urban and rural % piped water coverage vs. GDP per capita.
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pone-0114699-g001: Regressions of urban and rural % piped water coverage vs. GDP per capita.

Mentions: For some countries urban and rural ‘improved’ water estimates were provided by JMP but data for piped water and other ‘improved’ categories were not. The relationships between country-level urban piped water and log10 GDP per capita and rural piped water and log10 GDP per capita are strongly positively correlated; therefore, the global regression of these parameters was used to estimate urban and rural piped water coverage when country-level estimates were unavailable from JMP (Fig. 1); this method was used for four countries (Table 5). For these four and another 24 countries that lacked JMP estimates for the other categories of improved water, the distribution of the fraction of ‘other improved’ into the four remaining categories (protected well, public standpost, protected spring and rainwater) was calculated for each MDG region. The corresponding MDG regional averages were then applied to allocate ‘other improved’ to the four remaining categories (Table 6).


Does global progress on sanitation really lag behind water? An analysis of global progress on community- and household-level access to safe water and sanitation.

Cumming O, Elliott M, Overbo A, Bartram J - PLoS ONE (2014)

Regressions of urban and rural % piped water coverage vs. GDP per capita.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4263671&req=5

pone-0114699-g001: Regressions of urban and rural % piped water coverage vs. GDP per capita.
Mentions: For some countries urban and rural ‘improved’ water estimates were provided by JMP but data for piped water and other ‘improved’ categories were not. The relationships between country-level urban piped water and log10 GDP per capita and rural piped water and log10 GDP per capita are strongly positively correlated; therefore, the global regression of these parameters was used to estimate urban and rural piped water coverage when country-level estimates were unavailable from JMP (Fig. 1); this method was used for four countries (Table 5). For these four and another 24 countries that lacked JMP estimates for the other categories of improved water, the distribution of the fraction of ‘other improved’ into the four remaining categories (protected well, public standpost, protected spring and rainwater) was calculated for each MDG region. The corresponding MDG regional averages were then applied to allocate ‘other improved’ to the four remaining categories (Table 6).

Bottom Line: For drinking water the benchmark is community-level access whilst for sanitation it is household-level access, so a pit latrine shared between households does not count toward the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target.Our results demonstrate that the "sanitation deficit" is apparent only when household-level sanitation access is contrasted with community-level water access.As both drinking water and sanitation access yield greater benefits at the household-level than at the community-level, we conclude that any post-2015 goals should consider a household-level benchmark for both.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Disease Control, Faculty of Infectious Tropical Disease, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Safe drinking water and sanitation are important determinants of human health and wellbeing and have recently been declared human rights by the international community. Increased access to both were included in the Millennium Development Goals under a single dedicated target for 2015. This target was reached in 2010 for water but sanitation will fall short; however, there is an important difference in the benchmarks used for assessing global access. For drinking water the benchmark is community-level access whilst for sanitation it is household-level access, so a pit latrine shared between households does not count toward the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target. We estimated global progress for water and sanitation under two scenarios: with equivalent household- and community-level benchmarks. Our results demonstrate that the "sanitation deficit" is apparent only when household-level sanitation access is contrasted with community-level water access. When equivalent benchmarks are used for water and sanitation, the global deficit is as great for water as it is for sanitation, and sanitation progress in the MDG-period (1990-2015) outstrips that in water. As both drinking water and sanitation access yield greater benefits at the household-level than at the community-level, we conclude that any post-2015 goals should consider a household-level benchmark for both.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus