Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor
Progress is being made in ensuring clean water supply and safe sanitation for the poorest. However, this progress is not fast enough to meet the goals of the world expressed through the United Nations-sponsored Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly with respect to the need for improved sanitation. Urban water and sanitation fall under MDG Goal 7, which aims to ‘ensure environmental sustainability’. Within that goal, Targets 10 and 11 specifically state that the international community aspires to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and hygienic sanitation (from a 1990 base year) and, by 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers. Water supply and sanitation also implicitly contribute to Goals 1 (eradicating extreme poverty), 3 (promoting gender equality), 4 (reducing child mortality) and 6 (combating HIV/AIDs and other diseases) (UN, 2006).