Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water 2015 Update

The World Health Organization and UNICEF formed the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) to monitor the progress of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to half the proportion of the population without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.  Each year, this group tracks progress, achievements and outlines how far we have to go to accomplish universal access of water and sanitation services.   JMP’s assessments identified trends to improve programmes, strengthen policy and address gaps in service delivery.  Such discrepancies include: over 80% of people without access to water live in rural regions and the majority of the population that use surface water live in sub-Saharan Africa.

surface waters

This year is particularly important as we close the MDG period and transition to the Sustainable Development Goals that will include equitable access, improved water quality and strong local management.  Since the inception of the MDGs, there is progress to be celebrated – over 90% of the global population has access to improved sources of drinking water – and much to be made, 2.4 billion lack access to improved sanitation facilities.

world changed v3

The JMP is also tasked with creating consumable data that is comparable amongst countries and over time.  JMP helps to demonstrate that access to water and sanitation is best categorized as a continuum of services that ends with piped water on the premises.


Uganda – where we work – is joined by Belize, Egypt, Jordan, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay and Tunisia as one of 9 countries to meet their target to half the proportion of the population without access to safe drinking water.  The JMP reports that in 2015 76% of rural Uganda has access to safe drinking water, in comparison to the 36% in 1990.


In rural Uganda the report states that 17% of people use an improved sanitation facility in comparison to 11% in 1990.  This progress is categorized as making limited or no progress to meet the Sanitation MDG.  We applaud the progress made by the global community, while also preparing for the work that lies ahead to ensure equitable, safe and universal access to improved water and sanitation services.

*Read the complete report here.  All images from Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update and MDG Assessment