Cover Image
close this bookGlobal Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000 Report (UNICEF - WSSCC - WHO, 2000, 90 p.)
close this folder7. Asia
View the document(introduction...)
View the document7.1 Overview
View the document7.2 Water supply and sanitation coverage
View the document7.3 Changes during the 1990s
View the document7.4 Trends and future needs

7.1 Overview

Data representing 94% of the Asian population suggest that only 48% of the population has sanitation coverage, by far the lowest of any region of the world (Table 5.1). The situation is even worse in rural areas, where only 31% of the population has improved sanitation, compared with 78% coverage in urban areas. Total water coverage in Asia is also the second lowest, after Africa, at 81%. But again, water supply coverage is lower in rural areas (75%) compared with that in urban areas (93%).

Because of the population sizes of China and India, along with other large nations in the region, Asia accounts for the vast majority of people in the world without access to improved services. Eighty percent of the global population without access to improved sanitation, and almost two-thirds without access to improved water supply, live in Asia.

At present, approximately one-third of the Asian population is urban and two-thirds live in rural areas. But this balance is predicted to shift over the coming decades. By the year 2015, the urban population is projected to be 45% of the region's total, and grow to just over one-half of the total Asian population by 2025. This population growth will place enormous strain on already over-burdened services, especially in urban centres. To meet the international development target of halving the proportion of people without access to improved services by 2015, an additional 1.5 billion people in Asia will need access to sanitation facilities, while an additional 980 million will need access to water supply.