In the year 2000, all the UN Member states agreed on the UN Millennium Declaration and the realization of 8 Millenium Development Goals (MDG) in order to reduce poverty by 2015 (UN Water, 2015). Water and sanitation were part of the seventh goal focused on “Ensuring environmental sustainability”. The MDG 7 target 10 intended to:
- Halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
In percentage, this target meant that 88% of the world population for water and around 75% for sanitation were supposed to be reached. The target for drinking water has been reached well ahead 2010 and estimations show that by 2015, 90% of the world’s population have access to an improved water supply (UN Water, 2015). As the Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) on water and sanitation mentionned in their 2014 report, if the world has met the MDG drinking water target, 748 million people still remain without access to an improved water source and most of them (90%) in rural areas.
Despite significant progress and improvement, this excellent news does not stand for sanitation. In number we estimate in 2015, 2.4 billion people still remain without access an improved sanitation facilities (JMP, 2014). The sanitation target is considered by many as one of the major failure among all the MDGs (UN Water, 2015). The lack of clear indicator and general interest for sanitation has generated this situation.
Looking at inequalities
Beyond the numbers and estimates, discrimination and inequalities regarding water and sanitation, remain strong at the end of the MDG period. These differences stand between and within countries, between the rich and the poor or between rural and urban areas, etc. (UN Water, 2015) It is important to go beyond the data at country or regional level and disaggregate information in order to understand where hide the core problems in regards to inequalities.
Providing a coherent response
IRHA intends to support the effort of the water and sanitation sector and reach the communities to provide them with improved water and sanitation, by supporting rainwater for community water supply or at household level. IRHA also intends at accompanying the governments, the private sector and the communities to take actions.
Since 2005, IRHA implements the Blue School program to help improve access to water and adequate sanitation in schools and bring sustainable behavior change for what regards best hygiene practices.