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Claims of progress in safe drinking water supply queried

Claims of progress in safe drinking water supply queried

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Jan 26, 2016 - 12:45

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): An independent research organisation on Tuesday questioned claims of progress in supplying safe drinking water to Afghan households over the past decade and a half.

The Kabul-based Afghanistaninfo-icon Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU)suggested a careful evaluation of overoptimistic reports regarding success in the supply of potable water.

Recent reports from different agencies, including WHO and UNICEF,indicateAfghanistan has achieved before schedule the Millennium Development Goal for access to safe drinking water.

But in a discussion paper titled “Insecurity: changing paradigm for better framing the realities of sustainable access to drinking water in Afghanistan”, AREU asked if access to safe drinking water in Afghanistan was really such a success story.

The paper refers to inflated data (as found in reports from WHO/UNICEF), methodological discrepancies among surveys, biased trend assessmentsand unrealistic assumptions about the long-term sustainability of existing water systems.

It underlines the limitations of the existing “improved water sources” MDG indicator when it comes to capturing the realities of access to safe drinking water at a household level.

The paper suggests the more ambitious and more appropriate conceptual framework of “household water (in)security” as a guide to monitoring as well as policy and programme development in the sector.

pr/mud

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