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251 CHAPTER 15 Africa and the MDG on Improved Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation CaseofNigeriaandGhana Oghenerobor B. Akpor, Maxwell K. Boakye and Mammo Muchie INTRODUCTION According to the MDG target 7c, all countries are expected to ‘halve by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to drinking water and basic sanitation’1,2 . It is reported that all countries have made some form of commitment, either politically or financially to the realisation of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target for drinking water and sanitation (Target 7c). Although there is report of global impressive gains in meeting this target, most countries are falling short of meeting their national commitments. Available reports suggests that about 70% and 83% of countries seems to be falling remarkably in meeting their national targets for improved drinking water and sanitation, respectively.3 On a global scale, it is reported that in 1990, 77% of the world’s population had access to improved drinking water. Between 1990 and 2002, remarkable progress was made to increase global coverage of people with access to improved drinking water to 83%, thus putting the world on track to achieve the MDG target. On a global scale, the world is expected to reach the drinking water target, but is off track in attaining the sanitation target. In Africa, only 26 countries are on track to meet the MDG target on water and only 9 for sanitation.4,5 There is a general awareness in Africa that a large proportion of the population in different countries currently suffers from inadequate and inefficient water supply and sanitation.6 Also, improved water coverage in the Africa continent was observed to increase from 56% in 1990 to 64% in 2006, with urban and rural coverage of 85% and 51% respectively in 2006 (Table 1). Reports have also revealed that there was an increase from 61 million to 341 million people who still lack access to improved drinking water. With the current rate of access to improved drinking water, it is opined that about 245 million people will fall short of meeting the MDG target,7,8 In terms of sanitation coverage, as at 2006, improved sanitation coverage was still at 53% and 29% for urban and rural dwellers respectively, indicating 252 a total increase from 33%–38% (Table 2). Reports available have indicated that since 1990, the African population that lacked access to improved sanitation facility increased by 153 million to 583 million in 2006. To meet the MDG on sanitation, it is estimated that over 400 million were still expected to have access between 2006 and 2015.10 Similarly, more recent reports have indicated that despite the perceived progress in sanitation, all but four countries in subSaharan Africa remain off-track in meeting the MDG on sanitation. In 2008, reports revealed that 584 million people in Africa were yet to have improved sanitation facility, of which about 231 million still practised open defecation.11 In addition reports have indicated that despite about 10 million people gaining access to improved drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa annually from 1990–2004, the population has grown even faster, resulting in approximately 60 million yet to be served. According to the MDG target of 2015, the number of additional people requiring access to improved drinking water annually would need to triple.12 Currently in Africa, most especially the sub-Saharan region is reported not to be on track in meeting the MDG requirement on water and sanitation . On the continent, reports have revealed that 38 countries are still to have improved sanitation, while 9 are still to have drinking water coverage. This is less than 50%. The present rate at which Africans gain access to improved drinking water and sanitation is suggested to be insufficient to meeting the MDG target. Some of the obstacles to accelerating the rate of progress meeting the target are reported to be rapid increase in population, political instability, conflict and poor governance.14, 15 However, it is still unclear if the provision of sustainable access to improved drinking water and sanitation has been given the necessary political and financial support by policy makers in sub-Saharan Africa and relevant donors.16 Given the importance of improved drinking water and sanitation to the health of individuals and the need for the acceleration of progress towards meeting the MDG target and achieving the ultimate goal of universal access, this paper was aimed at reviewing the status of water supply and sanitation in...


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