Water sanitation hygiene

Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water 2010 update

Report of the WHO/UNICEF joint monitoring programme - Key terms

Goal 7, target 7c of the Millennium Development Goals aims at halving by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Water

Access to safe drinking water is measured by the percentage of the population using improved drinking-water sources.

  • Drinking water is water used for domestic purposes, drinking, cooking and personal hygiene;
  • Safe drinking water is water considered safe if it meets certain microbiological and chemical standards on drinking water quality;
  • Access to safe drinking water is measured against the proxy indicator: the proportion of people using improved drinking water sources: household connection; public standpipe; borehole; protected dug well; protected spring; and rainwater collection;
  • On premises piped drinking water connections – running water in dwelling, yard or plot.
  • Improved drinking water source is a source that, by nature of its construction, adequately protects the water from outside contamination, in particular from faecal matter. Common examples:
    • Piped household water connection
    • Public standpipe
    • Borehole
    • Protected dug well
    • Protected spring
    • Rainwater collection
  • Unimproved drinking water sources include:
    • Unprotected dug well
    • Unprotected spring
    • Surface water (river, dam, lake, pond, stream, canal, irrigation channel)
    • Vendor-provided water (cart with small tank/drum, tanker truck)
    • Bottled water (1)
    • Tanker truck water

Sanitation

Access to sanitation is measured by the percentage of the population using improved sanitation facilities.

  • Improved sanitation include sanitation facilities that hygienically separate human excreta from human contact.
  • Access to basic sanitation is measured against the proxy indicator: the proportion of people using improved sanitation facilities (such as those with sewer connections, septic system connections, pour-flush latrines, ventilated improved pit latrines and pit latrines with a slab or covered pit)
  • Shared sanitation facilities are otherwise-acceptable improved sanitation facilities that are shared between two or more households. Shared facilities include public toilets and are not considered improved.
  • Unimproved sanitation facilities do not ensure a hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact and include:
    • Pit latrines without slabs or platforms or open pit
    • Hanging latrines
    • Bucket latrines
    • Open defecation in fields, forests, bushes, bodies of water or other open spaces, or disposal of human feces with other forms of solid waste.

(1) Bottled water is considered improved only when the household use another improved source for cooking and personal hygiene