WHO releases Progress report on inequalities in drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (18 June 2019)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a new report, ‘Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2000-2017: Special focus on inequalities’ in collaboration with UNICEF.

Background Information:

Safely managed drinking water and sanitation services: Drinking water from sources located on premises, free from contamination and available when needed, and using hygienic toilets from which wastes are treated and disposed of safely.

Basic services: Having a protected drinking water source that takes less than thirty minutes to collect water from, using an improved toilet or latrine that does not have to be shared with other households, and having handwashing facilities with soap and water in the home.

High burden countries: More than 5 per cent of the population practiced open defecation in 2017 include:

  • Angola,
  • Benin,
  • Burkina Faso,
  • Cambodia,
  • Chad,
  • China,
  • Côte d’Ivoire,
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo,
  • Eritrea,
  • Ethiopia,
  • Ghana,
  • India,
  • Indonesia,
  • Kenya,
  • Madagascar,
  • Mozambique,
  • Nepal,
  • Niger,
  • Nigeria,
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines,
  • Sudan,
  • South Sudan,
  • Togo,
  • United Republic of Tanzania,
  • Yemen.

Key Messages:

DRINKING WATER

2000-2017:

  • The population using safely managed services increased from 61% to 71%.
  • Coverage of safely managed services increased in all SDG regions with estimates available. It rose from 25% to 35% in Least Developed Countries.
  • Rural coverage of safely managed services increased from 39% to 53%. The gap between urban and rural areas decreased from 47 to 32 percentage points.
  • 1.8 billion people gained access to at least basic services. The population lacking basic services decreased from 1.1 billion to 785 million and the number of people collecting water directly from surface water sources decreased from 256 to 144 million
  • 20 out of 86 countries with disaggregated data succeeded in halving the gap in basic service coverage between the richest and poorest wealth quintiles.

2019 Progress Report on WASH Drinking water Fig 1

In 2017:

  • 117 countries (and four out of eight SDG regions) had estimates for safely managed services, representing 38% of the global population.
  • 5.3 billion people used safely managed services. An additional 1.4 billion used at least basic services. 206 million people used limited services, 435 million used unimproved sources, and 144 million still used surface water.
  • Eight out of ten people still lacking even basic services lived in rural areas. Nearly half lived in Least Developed Countries.
  • In 24 out of 90 countries with disaggregated data, basic water coverage among the richest wealth quintile was at least twice as high as coverage among the poorest quintile.
  • 80 countries had >99% basic water coverage. One in three countries with <99% were on track to achieve ‘nearly universal’ coverage by 2030.

SANITATION

2000-2017:

  • The population using safely managed services increased from 28% to 45%.
  • Coverage of safely managed services increased in all SDG regions with estimates
    available.
  • Rural coverage of safely managed services increased from 22% to 43%, while the gap between urban and rural areas decreased from 14 to 5 percentage points.
  • 2.1 billion people gained access to at least basic services and the population lacking basic services decreased from 2.7 billion to 2 billion.
  • The population practising open defecation halved from 1.3 billion to 673 million. 23 countries reduced open defecation rates below 1% and were classed as reaching ‘near elimination’.
  • 9 out of 86 countries with disaggregated data succeeded in halving the gap in basic
    service coverage between the richest and poorest wealth quintiles.

2019 Progress Report on WASH Sanitation Fig 4

In 2017:

  • 92 countries (and six out of eight SDG regions) had estimates for safely managed services, representing 54% of the global population.
  • 3.4 billion people used safely managed services. An additional 2.2 billion used at least basic services. 627 million people used limited services, 701 million used unimproved facilities, and 673 million still practised open defecation.
  • Seven out of ten people who still lacked even basic services lived in rural areas. One third lived in Least Developed Countries.
  • In 48 out of 90 countries with disaggregated data, basic service coverage among the richest wealth quintile was at least twice as high as coverage among the poorest quintile.
  • 51 countries had >99% basic sanitation coverage. One in four countries with <99% were on track to achieve ‘nearly universal’ coverage by 2030.
  • Fewer than one in three ‘high burden’ countries with >5% open defecation were on track to achieve ‘near elimination’ (<1%) of open defecation by 2030.
  • Only one in five countries with >1% open defecation were on track to achieve ‘near elimination’ of open defecation among poorest rural wealth quintile by 2030.

HYGIENE

2019 Progress Report on WASH Hygiene Fig 7

In 2017:

  • 60% of the global population had basic handwashing facilities with soap and water available at home.
  • 78 countries (and three out of eight SDG regions) had estimates for basic handwashing facilities, representing 52% of the global population. Many high income countries lacked data on hygiene.
  • 3 billion people still lacked basic handwashing facilities at home: 1.6 billion had limited facilities lacking soap or water, and 1.4 billion had no facility at all.
  • Nearly three quarters of the population of Least Developed Countries lacked handwashing facilities with soap and water.
  • In 51 out of 82 countries with disaggregated data, basic handwashing coverage among the richest wealth quintile was at least twice as high as coverage among the poorest quintile.

Useful Links:

Link to WHO news release:

https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/18-06-2019-1-in-3-people-globally-do-not-have-access-to-safe-drinking-water-–-unicef-who

Link to the Progress Report:

https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/jmp-report-2019/en/

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