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Last update: Oct 2013

Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-water: Country and Regional estimates for 1990, 2000 and 2011

 

The following files contain the latest estimates from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP). These are published in the “Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation - 2013 Update” report available on the “Publications” link at left. The regional estimates presented follow the official MDG regional classification.

 

  • Excel file of the JMP 2013 country and regional drinking water and sanitation coverage estimates for, 1990, 2000 and 2011.

     

  • Excel file with a progress assessment towards the MDG drinking water and sanitation targets.

     

    If you download this second file, please note: The MDG drinking water and sanitation target is a global target. However, for advocacy purposes it has been common practice to assess progress at regional as well as country level using the same formulation of the global target. Several papers have pointed out that countries starting out with a low baseline coverage in 1990 and those facing high population growth face a much greater challenge using the global formulation of the target than countries starting out with a high baseline coverage. The application of the same progress assessment to all countries, therefore works to the disadvantage of the least developed countries, making it much harder for them to reach or even be on track for meeting the MDG drinking water and sanitation target.

     

    Explore the new estimates using Google tools

    The new water and sanitation estimates are available for viewers to explore and interact with using Google tools. Some examples of what you can do with them are provided below in boxes 1-6. If you would like to enter the Google Public Data site and tailor a graph to your own purposes, please click here to access a 2-page guide (the guide gives 6 steps on how to choose one of these graphs as your ready-made base and then tailor it slightly or even radically into a very different type of line, bar or bubble chart or map).
  • Box 1: Have populations benefited from both water and sanitation coverage increases?

           

    The water MDG target has been met globally but progress in sanitation is lagging overall. This statement is about averages. If you look below, to the country level, you’ll find a mixed bag of progress in drinking water and sanitation coverage, and in some cases, decreases in coverage.

           

    Here, you can see how countries like Ethiopia and Vietnam have rapidly extended both water and sanitation coverage. Djibouti and Nigeria have extended coverage with water, but sanitation coverage has dropped, and the opposite is the case in Yemen.

           

    Click the “play” button at the base of the graph to see how the situation changed over time.

           

     

    Box 2: Does coverage with improved drinking water and sanitation keep up with population growth?

           

    Some countries have been able to extended water and sanitation faster than their population has grown, reducing the number of people without coverage. Others have not.

           

    Here, overall population size is represented by the size of the bubble, whilst the population without improved drinking water is represented along the y axis and population without sanitation is represented along the x axis.

           

    China has extended water and sanitation faster than the population has grown, reducing the number of people without coverage. While India has extended water coverage faster than population growth, progress in sanitation hasn’t kept up.

           

    Click the “play” button at the base of the graph to see how the situation changed over time.

           

    Box 3: Can a relationship be seen between GNI per capita and sanitation coverage?

     

    In Botswana, Brazil, China, India, Laos, and Vietnam, both GNI per capita and coverage with improved sanitation have increased noticeably.

           

    Click the “play” button at the base of the graph to see how the situation changed over time.

           

     

    Box 4: Where do the people without improved drinking water live?

           

    According to the latest estimates, the number of people without access are now concentrated in about 10 countries. In 1990 it was a different story, with China and India dominating that landscape. These countries have greatly reduced the number of people without (represented by the size of the bubble).

           

    Click the “play” button at the base of the graph to see how the situation changed over time.

           

     

    Boxes 5 and 6: Beyond looking at global and national coverage, both in terms of percentage and numbers of people covered, what other considerations are important?

           

    Averages can hide stark disparities. If you apply different lenses to data (for instance by looking separately at urban and rural populations, at women and men, at richer and poorer populations, etc) you can better profile the populations that are missing out on drinking water and sanitation coverage. This exploration hints at the challenges in equitable achievement of the MDGs.

           

    The first graph here shows what percentage of the urban and rural population in Indonesia have had access to improved sanitation (1990-2011). Indonesia represents the most common story: rural populations tend to have lower coverage than their urban counterparts.

           

    Similarly to Indonesia, behind the national average in Colombia there is a story of lower rural than urban coverage: 65% and 82% respectively in 2011 (at the national level, coverage was 78%). The second graph looks at Colombia in terms of numbers of people without improved sanitation. Interestingly, in terms of numbers of people without coverage, there has been an increase in urban areas, surpassing the number without in rural areas, suggesting perhaps that urban sanitation facilities have not kept up with rapid urbanisation of the population.