Achieving Sustainable Sanitation in Asia
Singh, Sahana | June 2019
In 1977, a global meeting of political leaders was held for the first time to discuss the importance of clean water supply and wastewater management at Mar del Plata in Argentina. The International Decade of Water Supply and Sanitation was declared with the objective of providing clean water and sanitation to every person by the year 1990. On hindsight, this was clearly an impossible target to achieve—however, millions of people did receive coverage during the decade (Biswas 2004). Subsequently, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were laid out to be achieved between 1990 and 2015. One of the goals set was to reduce by half the number of people without access to clean water. Sanitation was added to the goal later during the Johannesburg Summit in 2002. Considerable discussion was directed towards achieving the MDGs by Asian countries, however the goal of halving the number of people without access to sanitation could not be met by many countries. Even as the MDGs aimed to reduce the number of unserved people, the population explosion ensured there were ever-increasing numbers of people who needed to be served. It was akin to aiming at a moving target. There were problems with measuring and monitoring the progress in achieving the goals. The MDGs have made way for the more ambitious and nuanced Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2015–2030. Achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable water, sanitation, and hygiene; ending open defecation; and paying special attention to the needs of women form a central part of the clean water and sanitation goal (SDG 6) (Jägerskog et al. 2015).
CitationSingh, Sahana. 2019. Achieving Sustainable Sanitation in Asia. © Asian Development Bank Institute. http://hdl.handle.net/11540/10432. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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