25 Mar 2014

Pacific unlikely to have met water and sanitation MDGs for 2015

4:30 pm on 25 March 2014

UNICEF New Zealand says four years after the Millennium Development Goals' global target for safe drinking water was met, the Pacific is still lagging far behind.

As World Water Day was marked this week, the executive director, Dennis McKinlay, says many people in the Pacific do not have access to their basic right of water and sanitation.

He says the Pacific is tied with Sub-Saharan Africa as having the lowest level of improved sanitation in the world.

Mr McKinlay says the Pacific is far off track to achieving either its sanitation or water Millennium Development Targets by 2015.

"It's still a problem accessing safe water. The Pacific Islands generally do not have good water systems and partly that's because of the dispersed nature of the population across many small islands, it makes it hard to service them."

Dennis McKinlay says it is likely the post-2015 goals will see more country-specific targets, not just global ones.