Access to Water Supply and Sanitation
At the heart of the Millennium Development Goals, access to water and sanitation is recognized as central to achieving progress on all fronts of development. While advancement on many international targets can be showcased, hundreds of millions in Asia-Pacific are still disconnected from improved water sources for personal as much as productive use, forcing them into a perennial state of human insecurity.
Access to Water:
Achieving water security consists of holding baseline access to sufficient quality water to meet basic needs, but it also means ensuring access to water for productive purposes, like agricultural and industrial uses. Overall, access to improved drinking water sources has increased in Asia and the Pacific, from 74 per cent in 1990 to 88 per cent in 2006. In absolute terms, the number of connected people increased from 2.4 billion to 3.6 billion.
Access to Sanitation:
In 2006, the General Assembly declared 2008 as “International Year of Sanitation” to help improve the poor performance in sanitation coverage worldwide. For the ESCAP region, that would mean providing an unserved 45.5 per cent of the region’s population with access to improved sanitation facilities. The challenge is greater for rural areas, where only 38 per cent of the people had access. Improved sanitation facilities include household toilets or latrines connected to piped sewerage systems and also septic tanks and ventilated improved pit latrines. People without these facilities usually defecate in fields or dispose of faeces in plastic bags, bucket latrines or rivers. The access rate discrepancy between rural and urban areas is thus higher in comparison with access to improved water sources. Despite impressive strides in almost all subregions, average sanitation coverage in ESCAP was still lower than the world average of 60 per cent in 2006.
Access to improved water supplies and sanitation (2006)
Past Events and Activities
1. UNITAR e-learning course on Governance in Urban Sanitation 12 April -18 June 2010
The course aims at enhancing the capacity of local decision-makers and sanitation professionals to make the most enlightened decisions and investments in the area of urban sanitation. It provides analytical tools to understand the financial and institutional framework of the sanitation sector, taking into account the needs of urban poor communities.
2. Regional Workshop on Institutional Changes Required to Achieve the MDG on Sanitation in Asia and the Pacific,
Macao, China, 4-6 November 2008
3. Public-Private Partnership: Bringing Safe Water Supply to the Community