WHO/UNICEF highlight need to further reduce gaps in access to improved drinking water and sanitation
Inequalities in access to improved drinking water and sanitation facilities still persist around the world
Since 1990, almost 2 billion people globally have gained access to improved sanitation, and 2.3 billion have gained access to drinking-water from improved sources. Some 1.6 billion of these people have piped water connections in their homes or compounds, according to a new WHO/UNICEF report, entitled Progress on drinking water and sanitation: 2014 update, which also highlights a narrowing disparity in access to cleaner water and better sanitation between rural and urban areas.
More than half of the global population lives in cities, and urban areas are still better supplied with improved water and sanitation than rural ones. But the gap is decreasing. In 1990, more than 76% people living in urban areas had access to improved sanitation, as opposed to only 28% in rural ones. By 2012, 80% urban dwellers and 47% rural ones had access to better sanitation.
In 1990, 95% people in urban areas could drink improved water, compared with 62% people in rural ones. By 2012, 96% people living in towns and 82% of those in rural areas had access to improved water.
Despite this progress, sharp geographic, socio-cultural, and economic inequalities in access to improved drinking water and sanitation facilities still persist around the world.