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[afro-nets] Report Shows Progress on Access to Water and Sanitation
- From: Claudio Schuftan <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 17:19:53 +0700
UNICEF Report Shows Progress on Access to Water and Sanitation,
but Problems Remain
from Vern Weitzel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
New York, Sep 28 2006 1:00PM
Although more than 1.2 billion people have gained access to safe
drinking water since 1990, at least four of every 10 people
still lack basic sanitation, contributing to the deaths from
diarrhoea of about 1.5 million children under the age of five
each year, according to a report released today by the United
Nations Children's Fund.
Progress for Children: A Report Card on Water and Sanitation
contains mixed conclusions on the advances made towards one of
the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), that which calls for
halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to
safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015.
It found that global coverage of safe drinking water increased
from 78 per cent to 83 per cent between 1990 and 2004, and that
Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as South Asia, are on
schedule to achieve the MDG well ahead of schedule.
Global access to basic sanitation has risen from 49 per cent in
1990 to 59 per cent today, with South Asia more than doubling
its numbers during the period. In East Asia and the Pacific, the
proportion jumped from 30 per cent to over 50 per cent.
Yet some 1.5 million children under the age of five die from
diarrhoea each year because they still do not have safe drinking
water or basic sanitation.
The report found that those deaths could be reduced by more than
a third with improved sanitation, while better hygiene practices
could cut the death rate by another third.
Despite commendable progress, 425 million children lack access
to a better water supply and more than 980 million do not have
access to adequate sanitation.
Clean water and sanitation are vital pre-requisites for improved
nutrition, reductions in child and maternal mortality and the
fight against disease. Other benefit of clean water and
sanitation is the improvement in school attendance rates and
academic performance, as children are no longer deterred from
classes by the need to fetch and carry water for their families.