Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Safe water access goal further away than previously thought
According to a new study, a failure to incorporate water quality data into measurements of progress on the Millennium Development Goal of access to safe water has made some countries appear closer to achieving the goal than they actually are. UNICEF and the WHO share responsibility for monitoring progress towards the goal through a Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), which classifies water sources into "improved" or "unimproved" categories. Researchers from the Water and Health Research Centre at the University of Bristol, analysed surveys conducted in 2004-5 by WHO and UNICEF in five countries. They noted a conclusion from the WHO/UNICEF surveys, that many "improved" water sources had frequently tested positive for microbial and chemical contamination. They incorporated relevant available data to recalculate population percentages with access to "safe" water.