GEO 3050 Week 3 - Zawahri 2011
Improving access to potable water and sanitation in developing countries
is an integral part of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
· Sought to halve the proportion of the world’s population living in
poverty, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat major
diseases, increase gender equality, provide universal primary education,
form a global partnership for development an improve environmental
· Under improving environmental sustainability, Target 10 sought to
halve the amount of people worldwide without adequate access to safe
drinking water and safe sanitation.
o In order to monitor the progress of Target 10, the UN created the Joint
Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation between
UNICEF and WHO.
o The JMP has claimed that, with a few exceptions, the Middle East and
Northern Africa (MENA) is on track to meet these goals.
§ However, these current assessment techniques are overstate coverage
rates, while not adequately capturing the context to which water is
unsafe and sanitation inadequate.
Water, Health and Development in the MENA:
· The failure to provide people with safe drinking water and basic
sanitation is estimated to contribute to approximately 3.5 million
deaths/year, and is responsible for 60% of infant mortality.
· The UN has concluded that improved water quality and sanitation is the
most critical component of reducing infant and child mortality.
· Waterborne diseases affect family income not only through the
decrease in economic productivity of the sick member, but also through
increasing costs of official and unofficial healthcare.
· These diseases also have a direct impact of anywhere from 0.5-2.5%
of national GDP in countries such as Iran, Morocco, Jordan, the Gaza
Strip and Lebanon.
· A $1 investment by the government in water and sanitation is
estimated by experts to have an $8 rate of return.
o This is because safe water and sanitation underpin achieving MDGs
related to poverty, health, schooling and gender equality.
· MENA contains 5% of the worlds population, but has less than 1% of
the world’s freshwater.
· Salinity has also affected numerous basins in many countries,
rendering them unusable.
o Climate change is also predicted to decrease the amount of freshwater
available. · Population growth combined with increased living standards, especially
in urban areas, generates increased flows of wastewater, that, without
proper treatment degrades freshwater quality.
Measuring Progress: JMP Methods:
· Two measures:
o proportion of using an improved drinking water source
o proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility.
· This data is collected by surveys from the JMP, asking respondents
where they get there water from. Conditions are said to be “improved” if
they are getting their water from pipes in their house, public pipes,
boreholes, protected wells, protected springs and rainwater collection.
· The JMP also added questions asking of households used their own
treatment processes once they had obtained the water, but admitted that
these questions still did not give an adequate picture of the quality of
· To address this, JMP started doing Rapid Assessments of Drinking-
Water Quality (RADWQ) in 6 countries