The world has met the target of halving the proportion of people without access to improved sources of water, five years ahead of schedule.
The number of people in urban areas without improved sanitation increased by 196 million people between 1990 and 2011 because of urban population growth.
With only 47% of the rural population using improved sanitation, rural areas lag far behind urban areas where the rate is 80%. Seven out of ten people without improved sanitation live in rural areas.
Open defecation rates have decreased from 24% in 1990 to 15% in 2011. Worldwide, 1 billion people practise open defecation, a decline of 244 million since 1990.
Within the developing world (without counting India and China) in 2011, 870 million people have gained access to improved sanitation since 1990, but there is a 12% increase of population using unimproved facilities in this region for the same 21-year period.
Overall, the number of cholera cases for the decade 2000–2010 increased by 130% and may continue to increase
Overall, the number of cholera cases for the decade 2000–2010 increased by 130 %. With increasing populations living in peri-urban slums and refugee camps, as well as increasing numbers of people exposed to the impacts of humanitarian crises, the risk from cholera will likely increase worldwide.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, treating diarrhoea consumes 12 percent of the health budget. On a typical day, more than half the hospital beds in are occupied by patients suffering from faecal-related disease.
Resourcing of the water, sanitation and hygiene sector is relatively low priority compared to other sectors
Resourcing of the water, sanitation and hygiene sector is relatively low priority compared to other sectors. In many countries, policies and programmes underemphasise adequate financing and human resource development to sustain the existing infrastructure and to expand access to sanitation, drinking-water and hygiene services.
Globally, diarrhoea is the leading cause of illness and death, and 88 per cent of diarrhoeal deaths are due to a lack of access to sanitation facilities, together with inadequate availability of water for hygiene and unsafe drinking water.