World meets UN safe water goal

2012-03-06 23:01

Geneva - The world has easily beaten a 2015 deadline to halve the proportion of people drinking unsafe water, the United Nations Children's Fund and the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.

The two UN agencies released a report saying that between 1990 and 2010, two billion people had gained access to improved water, through tools such as water pipes and protected wells.

The report, however, found that governments, communities and other entities will probably fall short of a target for three-quarters of the planet to have access to improved sanitation access.

The water milestone is one of the first Millennium Development Goals to be met. The goals, outlined by the UN, comprise eight targets to help the world's poor, including by improving living conditions and stopping the spread of HIV and Aids.

"For children, this is especially good news," Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement. "Every day more than 3 000 children die from diarrhoeal diseases. Achieving this goal will go a long way to saving children's lives."

According to the report, 89% of the world population had access to improved drinking water at the end of 2010, about 6.1 billion people. The report estimates the proportion will improve further, to 92% in 2015.

In Malawi, for instance, 7.2 million people gained access to clean water between 1995 and 2010, almost half the population.

But despite the encouraging trend, Lake noted that 11% of the planet - about 783 million people - remained without safe water supplies, and billions have no toilets.

The Millennium Development Goal is for 75% of the world's population to have access to improved sanitation by 2015. But that figure is likely to fall well short, at just 67%, the report said.

Currently about 2.5 billion people have no access to decent sanitation.

A lack of access to clean water disproportionately affects some parts of the world. Only 61% of sub-Saharan Africans have access to clean water, compared to 90% in Latin America, the Caribbean, north Africa and much of Asia.

In the world's poorest countries, 14% of the population still drinks water from rivers, ponds and lakes.

Read more on:    who  |  water

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36 publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.