Millennium Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established by the United Nations to significantly improve the lives of the world’s poorest people. Many of these eight goals have something to do with water.

The United Nations had set a goal of halving the proportion of people who are unable to access or afford safe drinking water and who lack basic sanitation by 2015 (the deadline for all Millennium Development Goals).

If this goal had been achieved, it would have enabled the realization of other goals, such as reducing the under-five child mortality rate by 66 percent, and ensuring that children can complete a full course of primary schooling.

The organization had pledged to put an end to unsustainable water resource exploitation by creating water management policies at the regional, national, and local levels that ensure both equal access and appropriate supply.

It’s now five years since the target date passed, the present results are mixed.

In 1990, just 35 percent of the world’s population had access to adequate sanitation. By 2004, this figure had risen to 50 percent as the world had seen the human population rise by an additional 1.2 billion. At this rate of growth, It would have been very difficult for these MDGs to be realized by 2015.

However, when it comes to improved drinking water sources, things are looking up. The global coverage rate has risen from 71% in 1990 to 80% in 2004 and is on course to fulfill the 2015 target despite having missed the mark. Nevertheless, global coverage is still unequal, with many rural areas, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, falling far short.