Household Water Security by Subregion (population-weighted)
------ Access to piped water supply. ----- Using the more stringent target of access to safe piped water supply, the data show a significantly different story. Although more than 900 million people g...
ained access to piped water supply between 1990 and 2010, this still means that more than 65% of the region’s population does not have what should be considered a secure household water supply. In the Pacific islands, the situation is even less encouraging, with only an average 21% of the population having a piped water supply. As shown in Figure 5, throughout Asia and the Pacific, the number of people with a tap in the house lags significantly behind the overall MDG figures for improved water supply.
------ Access to sanitation. ------- Sanitation coverage in Asia and the Pacific remains a bigger and still unfulfilled challenge. MDG Target 10—to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to improved sanitation—will not be met in the region by 2015. Although the percentage of people with access to improved sanitation facilities rose from 36% in 1990 to 58% in 2010, 1.74 billion people in Asia and the Pacific continue to live without access to improved sanitation. More than 792 million people still suffer the indignity of practicing open defecation, and more than 631 million of these people live in rural South Asia (footnote 17). By 2010, only around 58% of people had access to improved sanitation, and it is unlikely that sanitation coverage will reach 62% by 2015, the coverage required to achieve the MDG target. There are some bright spots, with Southeast Asia making rapid progress, expanding coverage by 23% between 1990 and 2010, and East Asia expanding coverage by 35% in the same period. However, although South Asia has increased access to improved sanitation by 16%, only about 38% of the population was covered in 2010.
South Asia is a hot spot where urgent efforts are necessary to reverse the stark and alarming inequity of access that persists, particularly in rural areas. It is estimated that 90%–96% of the rural rich have access to sanitation, whereas only 2%–4% of the rural poor have access. Disappointingly, there has been little progress on improving access to sanitation in the Pacific islands (50%).
------ Hygiene.------ Diarrheal diseases are caused mainly by the ingestion of pathogens in water. About 88% of all diarrhea cases worldwide have been attributed to lack of adequate access to water and sanitation.
To measure the health impact of improved access to water supply and sanitation services, AWDO 2013 assesses hygiene status using the age-standardized disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) index, which measures the diarrheal incidence per 100,000 people.
The hygiene status of people in Central and West Asia and in South Asia is substantially lower than in the other regions, where the monitored DALYs are considerably above 1,000 per 100,000 people (Figure 5).
------- Note: Data for the following countries were not available, because they are not included in the UN monitoring system for the Millennium Development Goals, and therefore are not reflected in their respective subregions: Brunei Darussalam (Southeast Asia); Taipei,China and Hong Kong, China(East Asia); and Turkmenistan (Central and West Asia).
Source: Based on data sources reported in the AWDO 2013 background paper “Water Security Key Dimension 1: Satisfying Household Needs for Water and Sanitation,” available on the AWDO 2013 supplementary DVD