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Turning the Tap On Water

posted 26 Mar 2012, 05:20 by Micheal Jonga   [ updated 20 Jun 2012, 23:47 by RCN Uganda ]
A week before the opening of the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) announced that MDG 7c - which seeks to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015 - has been met globally.

This announcement should be cause for celebration amongst populations, governments and civil society as a whole. So why, then, did this important achievement go almost unnoticed?

Is it due to the concern that donor interest may decline once the target has been met? Or to possible skepticism over the findings of the JMP report? The document monitors the number of people accessing "improved" water points. But according to Water for People's Ned Breslin, these numbers run the risk of being overestimated because they do not take into consideration the functionality of access points nor the quality of the water distributed. In reality, according to the statements of Gerard Payen, member of UNSGAB, "improved sources" doesn't mean "safe water". The most serious estimates are that 2 billion people -in a great proportion in Africa- are still using unsafe water.

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