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Access to drinking water and sanitation is a fundamental, but not yet universal human right

posted 19 Mar 2013, 22:39 by Sekuma Peter

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, access to water (water used for domestic purposes, drinking, cooking and personal hygiene) means having a water source that is less than one kilometre away from the place where it is used, and having the option of obtaining at least 20 litres of water per inhabitant per day on a regular basis. This water is not always drinkable. Drinking water is water that has microbial, chemical and physical features that meet the WHO directives or international standards regarding domestic water quality. Access to water in connection with millennium goals is indicated by the proportion of people who use improved water sources (in-home connection, drinking-fountains, protected wells, protected sources, and rain water).

Basic sanitation, meanwhile, corresponds to the technology that enables the hygienic evacuation of excrement and domestic waste water, and ensures a clean and healthy living environment both in users’ homes and in their neighbouring area. Access to basic sanitation is measured by calculating the proportion of people that use improved sanitation services (connection to a public drain, connection to a septic tank, flush latrine, simple pit latrine, or an upgraded latrine with a self-ventilating pit).