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[afro-nets] Improving Water and Sanitation Access

  • Subject: [afro-nets] Improving Water and Sanitation Access
  • From: Claudio Schuftan <claudio@hcmc.netnam.vn>
  • Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 17:06:25 +0700
  • Cc: afro-nets@healthnet.org

Improving Water and Sanitation Access Would Cost $11.3 Billion
More a Year - UN

From: Vern Weitzel <vern.weitzel@undp.org

New York, Apr 27 2004 6:00PM
With the United Nations Millennium Declaration putting pressure
on governments to halve the number of people lacking access to
safe water and decent sanitation by 2015, a new report, spon-
sored by the UN health agency and launched today, estimates that
the additional global investment needed will be $11.3 billion
per year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) report, "Evaluation of the
Costs and Benefits of Water and Sanitation Improvements at the
Global Level," was prepared by the Swiss Tropical Institute and
presented at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development
(http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/csd12.htm) in New York.

The economic benefits from each dollar invested range from $3 to
$34 - or even as much as $60 - depending on the region. An $11.3
billion investment could bring an $84 billion return, the report

In the calculations, savings of time from locating water and
sanitation facilities more conveniently for people are valued at
the minimum hourly wage rate for each country.

The report notes that improving water and sanitation saves on
funds for treating sometimes fatal diarrhoea and other water-
borne diseases. The reduction of infectious diarrhoea ranges
from 4 per cent in the poorest areas, using simple improvements,
to 69 per cent in areas using the highest water supply and sani-
tation technologies.

"In 2003, there were an estimated 6 million deaths due to unsafe
water and lack of sanitation and hygiene, 90 per cent of those
of children in developing countries," Dr. Jamie Bartram,
(http://www.who.int/mediacentre/releases/2004/pr28/en/) WHO Co-
ordinator for Water, Sanitation and Health, told a news confer-
ence at UN Headquarters in New York. "However, outbreaks of dis-
eases related to the problems broke out in countries at all lev-
els of development."

Asked why the Millennium Development Goal
(http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/) for water was presenting
such difficulties, WHO Assistant Director-General Dr. Kerstin
Leitner said, "The world population is still growing."

"Something that used to be an abundant resource was abundant no
more, the more so since the world population is moving into ar-
eas that did not use to have settlements, such as the semi-arid
north China plain, still using traditional water technologies."

Increased industrialization had also polluted more water re-
sources, she said.

Governments have pledged to provide 1.5 billion people with ac-
cess to improved drinking water and 1.9 billion people with ba-
sic sanitation facilities by 2015, under the MDGs, adopted at a
UN summit in 2000.

Improving only water supplies would cost an additional $1.78
billion annually. Improving sanitation costs a great deal more
because a greater number of people need access at this time and
require more privacy, whereas water supply services are shared
by many people for many public uses, it said.

[You may download the report "Evaluation of the Costs and Bene-
fits of Water and Sanitation Improvements at the Global Level"
as Adobe PDF file (87 pp. 733 kB) at:
DN Mod.]