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Water, sanitation and hygiene: what should we aim for post-2015?

posted 9 Feb 2015, 04:14 by RCN Uganda

It’s true – the MDGs helped us achieve many great things. But it’s also true that there is a significant amount of “unfinished business” left to sort out. In the area of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) this is especially the case.

Colleagues at the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for water supply and sanitation are painfully aware of this. These are the folk who reported that the MDG target for drinking water had been met by 2010, but that more than 700 million people still lack access to improved sources of drinking water. They are also the people who remind us that we are way off track to meet the sanitation target, with 2.5 billion people still lacking access to improved sanitation, and 1 billion people practising open defecation.

So it is not surprising that it was the JMP team who, as early as 2011, realised that when the discussions started about what would come after the MDGs, Member States would turn to the experts to ask for advice. They would seek input as to what new targets would be realistic, and how progress towards them should be measured. Avoiding the trap of having this crucial information be based on the opinions of just a few people, the JMP partnered with others in the field to undertake a broad consultation. Over 70 organizations, and over 200 individuals from around the world participated.