The International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade and Beyond

by Joseph Christmas, UNICEF Headquarters, New York, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Supplying Water and Saving the Environment for Six Billion People


The International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade ends in 1990. Though the Decade has not achieved its numerical objective of universal access to water and sanitation, it has been quite successful in creating awareness about the sector and in developing workable strategies and models which enhance sector sustainability. The disparity in coverage between urban and rural areas, the wide differential between the provision of water supply facilities and those for sanitation, the active and meaningful involvement of women in the management of water and sanitation programmes, and effective means of accelerating coverage in a sustainable manner, are all issues for which effective answers must be found during the 1990s. If the sector were to perform in the 1990s, similar to its performance during the 1980s, a significant proportion of developing countries' population will yet be unserved by the year 2000. Thus, the strategies of the 1990s must be such that their combined effect will make and enormous difference with respect to sector performance. A more management-oriented sector, based on frequent and systematic monitoring at country and global level, with a functional and effective institutionalized entity for global advocacy, should form the corner-stone of the thrust for the 1990s.

Subject Headings: Water supply systems | Water supply | International waters | Drinking water | Water treatment | Water resources | Sustainable development | Resource management

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