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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

(introduction...)


Figure

Photography: UNICEF/Charton

This chapter presents water supply and sanitation coverage data for Asia. Urban and rural water supply and sanitation coverage figures are shown by country, area or territory for both 1990 and 2000. Maps of current coverage are also presented. Graphs illustrate regional changes in coverage over time, as well as coverage targets associated with projected changes in population.

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.

7.2 Water supply and sanitation coverage

Table 7.1 provides water supply and sanitation data for 1990 and 2000, by country, area or territory. Composite coverage data are presented in Maps 7.1 and 7.2, and in Figures 7.1 and 7.2.

TABLE 7.1 ASIA: WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION COVERAGE BY COUNTRY, AREA OR TERRITORY, 1990 AND 2000


Year

Total population1 (thousands)

Urban population (thousands)

Rural population (thousands)

% urban water supply coverage

% rural water supply coverage

% total water supply coverage

% urban sanitation coverage

% rural sanitation coverage

% total sanitation coverage

Afghanistan

1990

14 755

2 692

12 063








2000

22 720

4 971

17 749

19

11

13

25

8

12

Armenia

1990

3 544

2 391

1 153








2000

3 519

2 462

1 057







Azerbaijan

1990

7 159

3 897

3 262








2000

7 734

4 429

3 305







Bahrain

1990

490

429

61








2000

617

569

48







Bangladesh

1990

109 466

21 090

88 376

98

89

91

78

27

37


2000

129 155

31 665

97 490

99

97

97

82

44

53

Bhutan

1990

1 696

87

1 609








2000

2 124

152

1 972

86

60

62

65

70

69

Brunei Darussalam

1990

257

169

88








2000

328

237

91







Cambodia

1990

8 652

1 090

7 562








2000

11 168

1 778

9 390

53

25

30

58

10

18

China

1990

1 155 306

316 563

838 743

99

60

71

57

18

29


2000

1 277 558

409 965

867 593

94

66

75

68

24

38

China, Hong Kong SAR

1990

5 704

5 701

3








2000

6 927

6 927

0







China, Macao SAR

1990

372

367

5








2000

473

468

5







Cyprus

1990

681

350

331

100

100

100

100

100

100


2000

786

446

340

100

100

100

100

100

100

Democratic People's Republic of Korea

1990

20 461

11 946

8 515








2000

24 039

14 481

9 558

100

100

100

99

100

99

East Timor

1990

740

58

682








2000

884

66

818







Gaza Strip

1990

643

601

42








2000

1 121

1 060

61







Georgia

1990

5 460

3 060

2 400








2000

4 967

3 015

1 952







India

1990

850 785

217 254

633 531

92

73

78

58

8

21


2000

1 013 662

288 283

725 379

92

86

88

73

14

31

Indonesia

1990

182 812

55 923

126 889

90

60

69

76

44

54


2000

212 108

86 833

125 275

91

65

76

87

52

66

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

1990

56 309

31 720

24 589

95

75

86

86

74

81


2000

67 702

41 709

25 993

99

89

95

86

74

81

Iraq

1990

18 078

12 987

5 091








2000

23 115

17 756

5 359

96

48

85

93

31

79

Israel

1990

4 660

4 206

454








2000

6 217

5 668

549







Japan

1990

123 537

95 575

27 962








2000

126 714

99 788

26 926







Jordan

1990

4 619

3 140

1 479

99

92

97

100

95

98


2000

6 669

4 948

1 721

100

84

96

100

98

99

Kazakhstan

1990

16 742

9 546

7 196








2000

16 223

9 157

7 066

98

82

91

100

98

99

Kuwait

1990

2 143

2 054

89








2000

1 971

1 924

47







Kyrgyzstan

1990

4 395

1 645

2 750








2000

4 699

1 563

3 136

98

66

77

100

100

100

Lao People's Democratic Republic

1990

4 152

750

3 402








2000

5 433

1 275

4 158

59

100

90

84

34

46

Lebanon

1990

2 555

2 151

404








2000

3 282

2 945

337

100

100

100

100

87

99

Malaysia

1990

17 845

8 891

8 954








2000

22 244

12 772

9 472


94



98


Maldives

1990

216

56

160








2000

286

75

211

100

100

100

100

41

56

Mongolia

1990

2 217

1 285

932








2000

2 663

1 691

972

77

30

60

46

2

30

Myanmar

1990

40 520

9 984

30 536

88

56

64

65

38

45


2000

45 611

12 628

32 983

88

60

68

65

39

46

Nepal

1990

18 772

1 680

17 092

96

63

66

68

16

21


2000

23 931

2 844

21 087

85

80

81

75

20

27

Oman

1990

1 785

1 109

676

41

30

37

98

61

84


2000

2 542

2 135

407

41

30

39

98

61

92

Pakistan

1990

119 155

37 987

81 168

96

79

84

78

13

34


2000

156 483

57 968

98 515

96

84

88

94

42

61

Philippines

1990

60 687

29 612

31 075

94

81

87

85

64

74


2000

75 967

44 530

31 437

92

80

87

92

71

83

Qatar

1990

485

436

49








2000

599

554

45







Republic of Korea

1990

42 870

31 658

11 212








2000

46 844

38 354

8 490

97

71

92

76

4

63

Saudi Arabia

1990

16 045

12 600

3 445








2000

21 607

18 526

3 081

100

64

95

100

100

100

Singapore

1990

3 016

3 016

0

100


100

100


100


2000

3 567

3 567

0

100


100

100


100

Sri Lanka

1990

17 046

3 625

13 421

90

59

66

93

79

82


2000

18 827

4 435

14 392

91

80

83

91

80

83

Syrian Arab Republic

1990

12 386

6 218

6 168








2000

16 125

8 783

7 342

94

64

80

98

81

90

Tajikistan

1990

5 303

1 679

3 624








2000

6 188

1 704

4 484







Thailand

1990

55 595

10 410

45 185

83

68

71

97

83

86


2000

61 399

13 252

48 147

89

77

80

97

96

96

Turkey

1990

56 098

34 324

21 774

82

76

80

98

70

87


2000

66 591

50 164

16 427

82

84

83

98

70

91

Turkmenistan

1990

3 668

1 652

2 016








2000

4 459

1 997

2 462







United Arab Emirates

1990

1 921

1 554

367








2000

2 441

2 097

344







Uzbekistan

1990

20 515

8 230

12 285








2000

24 318

8 968

15 350

96

78

85

100

100

100

Viet Nam

1990

66 689

13 157

53 532

81

40

48

86

70

73


2000

79 832

15 749

64 083

81

50

56

86

70

73

Yemen

1990

11 590

2 648

8 942

85

60

66

80

27

39


2000

18 112

4 476

13 636

85

64

69

87

31

45

1 Source: (10)

Maps 7.1 and 7.2, which are based on the data in Table 7.1, show that in nearly every country, area or territory, water supply coverage is higher than sanitation coverage in 2000. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, the Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey and Uzbekistan appear to be exceptions. In general, the countries of western Asia have higher coverage levels than those to the east and south of the region. The Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia are among the countries with the highest service coverage levels. The Assessment 2000 also found relatively high levels of service coverage in the central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. These countries are, however, in a process of transition and their experience of water supply and sanitation services may be more changeable than that of many other countries in the region. The coverage estimates for these three countries are based on data for the years 1995 - 1997 and it may be that they are not representative of the present status of services. The example of Tajikistan may be interesting in this context (see Box 7.1).


MAP 7.1 ASIA: WATER SUPPLY COVERAGE, 2000


MAP 7.2 ASIA: SANITATION COVERAGE, 2000

BOX 7.1 TAJIKISTAN: DECREASING WATER SUPPLY

Historically, the communities of Khatlon province in southern Tajikistan used the waters of the Vakhsh and Pyandj rivers originating in the Pamir glaciers, and most permanent settlements were located along these rivers. In Soviet times, arid terraces in the river valleys were irrigated to allow for agriculture. Towns and villages relied on a centralized piped supply of drinking-water from groundwater sources. Despite significant wastage of water, most of the population had access to safe water as defined by international standards.

By the mid-1980s, growing demand had outstripped groundwater capacity and it was discovered that the source had been contaminated by the Vakhsh chemical plant. Work started on a new water pipeline, but was left unfinished because of economic and political disruption.

In 1995, it was estimated that less than 10% of the rural population of Khalton province had access to safe drinking-water and less than 5% to sewerage systems. For example, in Gozimalik district, just 5% of the population had access to safe water and only 2% to safe sanitation. In Jillikul district the situation was even worse, with 4% of the population having access to safe water and no one with access to safe sanitation.

The absence of clean water has had a devastating impact on hygiene, especially in rural schools and hospitals. Health education, although obligatory under the Soviet regime, has increasingly been neglected. The results are evident in deteriorating child health. The infant mortality rate, which increased in 1993 - 1994, remains one of the highest among former Soviet countries.

Source: (29)

Some of the countries with the largest populations in the region also have the lowest coverage levels, especially for sanitation; China and India are the principal examples. Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal and Yemen also have extremely low levels of sanitation coverage. There is evidently a need to accord priority to improving sanitation coverage. Box 7.2 gives an indication of the obstacles to be overcome in the case of Nepal, while Box 7.3 describes an example of social mobilization to construct latrines in Myanmar.

BOX 7.2 NEPAL: THE NEED TO PRIORITIZE SANITATION

The lack of access to sanitation in Nepal is striking. A total of 73% of the population is without access to sanitation, one of the highest proportions in Asia. By comparison, the average proportion of the population without access for all Asian countries is 52%. In Nepal, the economic loss associated with inadequate sanitation was estimated to be US$ 153 million in 1996, equivalent to 4.1% of the GDP.

The reasons for the low priority accorded to sanitation by politicians and the general public may be related to perceptions and beliefs. A survey carried out in 1997 indicated that 67% of the people surveyed had not felt a need for sanitation. Another recent survey showed that 54% of the general public, and only 11% of local leaders, thought that the local development budget should be used to implement water and sanitation programmes.

A successful sanitation project in Kerabari, in the Morang district of Nepal, underlines the importance of involving the community and local politicians in planning and implementation. This can be done through appropriate sanitation campaigns, orientation, training, transfer of technology and the establishment of a revolving fund. The marketing of sanitation should draw on commercial techniques, based on product, price, place and promotion. Sanitation should be treated as a priority in its own right, and not simply as an add-on to more attractive water supply programmes.

Source: (30)

In only three Asian countries, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Oman, is the water supply coverage less than 50%. In contrast, the sanitation coverage is less than 50% in approximately one-third of Asian countries, and in Afghanistan and Cambodia both water supply and sanitation coverage is less than 50%.

BOX 7.3 MYANMAR: SOCIAL MOBILIZATION TO INCREASE LATRINE CONSTRUCTION

The goal of Myanmar's National Sanitation Week in 1995 was to motivate one million families (12% of households throughout the country) to construct their own sanitary latrines. This meant motivating about 15 families in each of Myanmar's 66 000 villages and wards - a manageable task. National television broadcast educational and advocacy messages, and newspapers printed articles promoting the National Sanitation Week.

When township authorities and health staff were committed to achieving the national goal, the National Sanitation Week was successful. Social mobilization, with the active participation of health workers, nongovernmental organizations, teachers and household heads, created a sense of community ownership of the strategy. To reduce costs so as to bring sanitary latrines within the reach of all families, some village leaders organized the bulk purchase of bamboo. Many families contributed labour and locally available materials were widely used. Nearly 800 000 new sanitary latrines were constructed, representing additional sanitary facilities for almost 10% of the population.

The strategy was more successful than an earlier effort to promote community participation by providing families with free latrines pans, which proved too costly and had to be phased out. In 1999, National Sanitation Week for the second time promoted the goal of another one million latrines.

Source: (28)

7.3 Changes during the 1990s

During the 1990s coverage with both water supply and sanitation increased in Asia (Figures 7.1 and 7.2). It should be remembered that the figures for China and India strongly influence the total figures for Asia, and apart from urban water supply, each of the services has increased in these two countries. However, excluding India and China from the regional figures does not greatly change the picture: the increases in both rural and total water supply and sanitation coverage between 1990 and 2000 look very similar. The main difference when the data for China and India are excluded is that sanitation coverage for the remainder of the region becomes higher, higher in fact than that of Africa.


Figure 7.1 Asia: water supply coverage, 1990 and 2000


Figure 7.2 Asia: sanitation coverage, 1990 and 2000

7.4 Trends and future needs

Figures 7.3 - 7.8 show the numbers of people with and without water supply and sanitation coverage in Asia, for 1990 and 2000. The projected population growth and target coverage for 2015 and 2025 are also shown. Over the 1990s, an enormous number of people in the region gained access to services (Figures 7.3 and 7.6). For example, although percentage coverage has actually dropped slightly for urban water supply, an additional 282 million people gained access (Figure 7.4). At the same time, 303 million people gained access to water supply in rural areas (Figure 7.5). The numbers of additional people who gained access to sanitation are almost as high: the Assessment 2000 findings suggest that 365 million urban dwellers and 216 million rural dwellers gained access to sanitation facilities over the same period (Figures 7.7 and 7.8).

It is predicted that population growth in the region will continue to increase. To achieve the target of halving the proportion of people without access to improved services by the year 2015, enormous effort will be required. For urban water supply, an additional 619 million people will need to gain access to services over the next 15 years (Figure 7.4). For rural water supply, the figure is 361 million people (Figure 7.5). Therefore, to meet the target for water supply, almost one billion additional people will require access in Asia alone. As an example of activities already under way, Box 7.4 describes an attempt to increase access to water supply in Viet Nam.

BOX 7.4 VIET NAM: INCREASING ACCESS TO WATER SUPPLY

Saltwater intrusion and increased agricultural activity have polluted surface water throughout the Mekong Delta. To find fresh water, more than 43 000 tubewells up to 400 metres deep were drilled to tap into fresh-water aquifers. Furthermore, surveys carried out in 1996 and 1997 indicated that thousands of wells in the area were only being used at about 5% of their capacity. The challenge was to find ways of increasing access to clean water by more effectively exploiting existing wells, rather than drilling new wells.

A project began in the commune of Luong Hoa. Extensive discussions with community members led to an agreement to construct and maintain a piping system to bring water directly to their homes. Virtually every household agreed to contribute financial support. The funds collected for each cubic metre of water are enough to cover electricity and operational costs, as well as to maintain a contingency fund for the future repair or expansion of the system.

The project has expanded to cover new piping systems in 49 communes in the provinces of Vinh Long and Tien Giang, benefiting an estimated 22 000 people. The experience shows that relatively small amounts of capital can act as a catalyst in helping people to help themselves. Community support for small piping systems can be a low-cost method of increasing rural water supplies.

Source: (28)

To meet the 2015 target for sanitation, an additional 675 million people in urban areas and 857 million people in rural areas will need to gain access to facilities (Figures 7.7 and 7.8). In total, around 1.5 billion people in Asia will need to gain access to improved services. The incredibly large number of people requiring access to rural sanitation in the region is a reflection of both the size of the rural population and the very low current level of coverage. Halving the population without service means meeting the needs of a huge number of people.


Figure 7.3 Actual and target total water supply coverage for Asia


Figure 7.4 Actual and target urban water supply coverage for Asia


Figure 7.5 Actual and target rural water supply coverage for Asia


Figure 7.6 Actual and target total sanitation coverage for Asia


Figure 7.7 Actual and target urban sanitation coverage for Asia


Figure 7.8 Actual and target rural sanitation coverage for Asia


Figure


Figure

Photography: UNICEF/Charton