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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 household-level benchmark in rural and urban areas (Scenario 1 & 2).
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pone-0114699-g005: Global progress with a household-level benchmark in rural and urban areas (Scenario 1 & 2).

Mentions: Between 1990 and 2015, levels of household-level access to water and sanitation improve at an almost equal rate in rural areas (4). Access to rural household-level coverage for water and sanitation rose from approximately 949 million for water and 855 million for sanitation in 1990, to 1.69 billion to 1.80 billion respectively in 2015. Although the proportion of the population in urban areas gaining household-level access to both water and sanitation has changed little for sanitation and remained constant for water between 1990 and 2015 (Fig. 5), in absolute numbers, we estimate a large change. Between 1990 and 2015, we estimate that an additional 1.26 billion people will have achieved household-level access to water and 1.29 billion to household-level sanitation in urban areas. These dramatic increases in absolute numbers have barely kept pace with increases in the global urban population. In 2015, we estimate that for water and sanitation respectively 32% and 34% of the global urban population will be without household-level access.


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 household-level benchmark in rural and urban areas (Scenario 1 & 2).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0114699-g005: Global progress with a household-level benchmark in rural and urban areas (Scenario 1 & 2).
Mentions: Between 1990 and 2015, levels of household-level access to water and sanitation improve at an almost equal rate in rural areas (4). Access to rural household-level coverage for water and sanitation rose from approximately 949 million for water and 855 million for sanitation in 1990, to 1.69 billion to 1.80 billion respectively in 2015. Although the proportion of the population in urban areas gaining household-level access to both water and sanitation has changed little for sanitation and remained constant for water between 1990 and 2015 (Fig. 5), in absolute numbers, we estimate a large change. Between 1990 and 2015, we estimate that an additional 1.26 billion people will have achieved household-level access to water and 1.29 billion to household-level sanitation in urban areas. These dramatic increases in absolute numbers have barely kept pace with increases in the global urban population. In 2015, we estimate that for water and sanitation respectively 32% and 34% of the global urban population will be without household-level access.

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