Latest report on WASH talks of progress


Besides meeting the Millennium Development Goals for access to drinking water supply in March this year, Ethiopia has also achieved the largest decrease of open defecation, nearing the MDG target according to a report by a Joint Monitoring Programme  of the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
The report said that  the practice of open defecation has decreased to 29 percent in 2015 from 92 percent in 1990. Eliminating open defecation had been one of the most important topics that was given focus during the MDGs period as it is a key in improving  health in developing countries.
According to the report, using  shared latrines is widespread in both urban and rural areas. Data shows that across the world the number of people sharing a toilet in the urban area is greater at 398 million while those in the rural area are 240 million people.  In Ethiopia,  sharing sanitary units is higher in the urban area.
The report shows that globally the MDG target for sanitation was missed by almost 700 million people.  The only developing regions who met  the sanitation target were the Caucasus and Central Asia, Eastern Asia, Northern Africa and Western Asia. According to the latest data, this year alone, 2.4 billion people lack improved sanitation facilities. With this regard, Ethiopia is listed among the five countries, including South Africa, which has achieved a moderate progress in Africa.
Earlier this year, Ethiopia was praised for meeting the MDG for safe drinking water. The report states that 57 percent of the population has access to clean drinking water.
Establishment of the National WASH Inventory (NWI) forum in 2010, a mechanism used to provide national data on WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) service coverage and quality, was among the engines for the success.
Globally, the narrative is also similar with 91 percent of the world population having improved access to drinking water. This number is continuously increasing making it one of the most successful MDG targets.