Water supply and sanitation


Sustainable drinking water supply and sanitation services are an essential foundation for health and dignified living conditions. These services are thus also a vital prerequisite for meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The international community is close to reaching the MDG target to provide 88 per cent of the world’s population with drinking water. In 2013, nine out of ten people around the globe had access to drinking water that met WHO and UNICEF standards – two billion people more than in 1990. However, just 66 per cent of people living in Africa have access to clean drinking water. Even though major progress has been made in the field of drinking water supply in recent decades, 780 million people still have no access to clean drinking water. The challenges are far greater when it comes to basic sanitation: about 2.5 billion people still lacked access to this basic service in 2013.

However, a world in which everyone has a functioning drinking water supply and sanitation that respects human rights is not a utopia. It is the result of an enabling environment and competent and committed water professionals. GIZ contributes towards implementing the human right to drinking water and basic sanitation with projects commissioned by the German Government. Presently, GIZ is advising 410 water and wastewater companies in 16 countries around the world on improving their services, thereby reaching about 105 million people.


Manfred Scheu

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