Publication: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
Better hygiene and access to drinking water and sanitation will accelerate progress toward two millennium development goals (MDGs): 'reduce under-five child mortality rate by 2/3 between 1990 and 2015' and "by 2015 halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation". Meeting the latter goal will require infrastructure investments of about US$23 billion per year, to improve water services for 1.5 billion more people (292,000 people per day) and access to safe sanitation for 2.2 billion additional people (397,000 per day). Water supply, sanitation, and hygiene are about more than health. Saved time, particularly for women and children, is a major benefit. Beneficiaries of water and sanitation projects in India reported these benefits: less tension/conflict in homes and communities; community unity, self-esteem, women's empowerment (less harassment) and improved school attendance (Water Aid 2001). Improved hygiene (hand washing) and sanitation (latrines) have more impact than drinking water quality on health outcomes, specifically reductions in diarrhea, parasitic infections, morbidity and mortality, and increases in child growth (Esrey et al 1991; Hutley et al 1997). Most endemic diarrhea is not water-borne, but transmitted from person to person by poor hygiene practices, so an increase in the quantity of water has a greater health impact than improved water quality because it makes it possible (or at least more feasible) for people to adopt safe hygiene behaviors (Esrey et al 1996).
“World Bank. 2003. Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene. at a glance. © Washington, DC. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/9715 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”