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Why India's sanitation crisis needs more than toilets

India's sanitation crisis needs more than toilets

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech, vowed to eliminate open defecation, India took notice.

Read more: Why India's sanitation crisis needs more than toilets

Making Diepsloot a healthy place to live

In mid-2013, a submission to make some small improvements to a part of Diepsloot, an informal settlement west of Johannesburg, was assembled by Healthabitat, Sticky Situations and the Water, Amenities and Sanitation Services Upgrade Project (WASSUP), and was subsequently supported by the WorldSkills Foundation.

Read more: Making Diepsloot a healthy place to live

A new basic sanitation paradigm – the pour-flush story

By: Dave Still – PID Consulting Engineers and Project Managers

There are essentially two types of toilets in South Africa – the flush toilet and the ‘long drop’ or pit latrine. Each of these types have many variations and styles, but the essential division is between waterborne sanitation and dry sanitation.

Read more: A new basic sanitation paradigm – the pour-flush story

Trends in open defecation 1990–2012

Nearly 540 million people, more than 60% of Africa’s population, currently do not have access to safe sanitation, defined as an improved latrine or septic tank. Meeting the MDG for sanitation, which calls for halving by 2015 the percentage of the population that did not have improved sanitation in 1990, appears a daunting task.

Read more: Trends in open defecation 1990–2012

Progress towards the MDG sanitation target

By: World Health Organisation and Unicef

The world is not on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) sanitation target; 69 countries were not on track in 2012, 37 of them in sub-Saharan Africa (Figure 15). However, there are countries that are not on track in all regions. Despite 1,9 billion people gaining access since 1990, by the end of 2012, there were 2,5 billion people who did not use improved sanitation facilities, only 7% fewer than the 2,7 billion without access in 1990. 40% of those who lack access to an improved sanitation facility (one billion people) live in southern Asia. At current rates, the world will miss the MDG sanitation target by over half a billion people.

Read more: Progress towards the MDG sanitation target

Progress on drinking water and sanitation: 2014 update

By: World Health Organisation

As we approach the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) deadline, the lessons, successes and remaining challenges are becoming increasingly clear. This report highlights what we have achieved on water and sanitation, and where we need to accelerate efforts. The good news is that since 1990 well over 2 billion people have gained access to improved sources of drinking water, and 116 countries have met the MDG target for water. Almost 2 billion people gained access to improved sanitation and 77 countries have met the MDG target. More than half the world’s population, almost 4 billion people, now enjoy the highest level of water access: a piped water connection at their homes.

Read more: Progress on drinking water and sanitation: 2014 update

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