Facing up the challenges of the MDG drinking water target. Address inequities of a basic need access

Stéphanie Dos Santos, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)

Access to safe drinking water is a precondition for health and for success in the fight against poverty, hunger, child deaths and gender inequality. In adopting the 10th target of the Millennium Development Goals, the international community pledged to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water. This proportion is an indicator expressed as the percentage of people using improved drinking water sources or delivery points. This communication aims to demonstrate how the MDG drinking water target addresses inequities but not solves them, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Three main issues are under discussion: (1) what about the half of people who continue to stay without access to water? (2) definitions remain unclear, especially safety of water and (3) the relevance of the indicator used for addressing social and health water related issues that not includes modalities of accessibility determined by distance and/or time and cost.

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Presented in Session 16: Achieving the MDG targets for water and sanitation