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Ear to the Ground

11 Percent of the World’s Population Still Without Clean Water

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Posted on Aug 7, 2012
Darwin Bell (CC BY 2.0)

The United Nations’ highest policymaking body declared access to water and sanitation to be a basic human right two years ago. But a coalition of activists in late July said that goal remains little more than a good intention.

“As members of the global water justice movement,” the group said, “we are deeply concerned to see little progress being made towards the full implementation of this right.”

At the end of 2010, 89 percent of the world’s population—6.1 billion people—were said to have “improved drinking water sources,” such as supply pipes and protected wells. But that leaves nearly 800 million people with empty cups in their hands, and billions more without access to proper sanitation.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

In March, the UN children’s agency (Unicef) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) released a joint report (pdf) claiming that the millennium development goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water (spelled out under goal 7 on environmental sustainability) had been reached well in advance of the 2015 deadline.

“Today, we recognise a great achievement for people of the world,” said UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, pointing out that it was one of the first MDGs to be met.

… A cautious Unicef executive director Anthony Lake warned that victory could not yet be declared since at least 11% of the world’s population – roughly 783 million people – are still without access to safe drinking water, and billions are without sanitation facilities.

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