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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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Global progress with a community-level benchmark for water and sanitation (Scenario 1).
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pone-0114699-g002: Global progress with a community-level benchmark for water and sanitation (Scenario 1).

Mentions: Global progress on community-level drinking water and sanitation (see Table 1 for definitions) is depicted in Fig. 2. Under this scenario, with equivalent community-level benchmarks for both water and sanitation, the nominal MDG target of halving the proportion without access is met by 2010 for water and in 2014 for sanitation; both ahead of the 2015 target date. While the water target is met earlier, the rate of progress for sanitation exceeds that of water such that the difference in the proportion with access to water versus sanitation is almost halved between 1990 and 2015. Under this scenario, we estimate that in 2015 the global population without access to water and sanitation at the community-level will be approximately 517 million and 1.58 billion, respectively. We estimate that at current rates of progress, universal community-level access will not be achieved until 2025 and 2037 for water and sanitation respectively.


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)

Global progress with a community-level benchmark for water and sanitation (Scenario 1).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0114699-g002: Global progress with a community-level benchmark for water and sanitation (Scenario 1).
Mentions: Global progress on community-level drinking water and sanitation (see Table 1 for definitions) is depicted in Fig. 2. Under this scenario, with equivalent community-level benchmarks for both water and sanitation, the nominal MDG target of halving the proportion without access is met by 2010 for water and in 2014 for sanitation; both ahead of the 2015 target date. While the water target is met earlier, the rate of progress for sanitation exceeds that of water such that the difference in the proportion with access to water versus sanitation is almost halved between 1990 and 2015. Under this scenario, we estimate that in 2015 the global population without access to water and sanitation at the community-level will be approximately 517 million and 1.58 billion, respectively. We estimate that at current rates of progress, universal community-level access will not be achieved until 2025 and 2037 for water and sanitation respectively.

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