UN meets access to drinking water goal ahead of schedule

A report by the World Health Organization and UNICEF released Tuesday said that people lacking access to clean drinking water had been halved since 1990.

The achievement signifies a completion of one of the so-called Millenium Development Goals (MDG) set by the UN in 2000 ahead of the 2015 schedule.

According to the Associated Press more than two billion people gained access to safe drinking water between 1990 and 2010, bringing the total number up to 6.1 billion people or 89 per cent of the world population.

Yet, the report noted that 783 million people — 11 per cent of the global population — still have no ready access to safe drinking water

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon lauded the achievement saying, according to Reuters: “The successful efforts to provide greater access to drinking water are a testament to all who see the MDGs not as a dream, but as a vital tool for improving the lives of millions."

The report entitled Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation 2012, showed that regional disparities are still present and must be addressed.

According to the report over 40 per cent of people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to clean drinking water.

The report also noted that access to safe sanitation has been lacking in many countries, especially in India, where more than half of the population, 626 million people, do not have access to a toilet, said the BBC.

On Tuesday, rockstar Lenny Kravitz said that he was throwing his support behind efforts to bolster clean drinking water and sanitation.

"I was born in New York City and have always taken access to clean water as a given," said Kravitz in a statement reported by AFP. "No child should die of diarrhea from drinking dirty water. That thousands of children under the age of five continue to die every day because they lack clean water and basic sanitation is simply unacceptable."

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