The Mekong River Catchment Water and Sanitation Initiative
"Improving Access to Water and Sanitation Services, Enhancing Capacities of Public Institutions and Communities, and Assessing Investment Needs for Secondary Townsin the Mekong Basin – a new initiative of UN-Habitat called MEK-WATSAN"
Mr. Gerhart SchneiderUN-HABITAT Regional Technical Advisor
1.1 Millennium Development Goals on Water and Sanitation
An important outcome of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)in Johannesburg, attended by over 100 Heads of State and Governments, was theendorsement of the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) put forward atthe Millennium Summit in 2000, and a renewed commitment to achieving these goals.The MDGs and the outcomes of WSSD underlined that the global water crisis is a threatto the interlinked issues of economic development, poverty reduction, the environmentand, hence to peace.In the year 2000, a total of about 1.1 billion people lacked access to improved water supply and 2.4 billion people lacked access to improved sanitation, out of these 61 and 79 per cent respectively lived in Asia. Due to this large number of people without proper access to water and sanitation, Asia is receiving special attention.In a response to these objectives formulated at above-mentioned and other major summits, water conferences and deliberations at international level, UN-HABITAT has been implementing a major programme entitled
Water for Asian Cities (WAC) Programme.
This programme is a collaborative initiative of UN-HABITAT, the AsianDevelopment Bank and interested Governments of Asian countries, and it was officiallylaunched at the 3
World Water Forum on 18
March 2003. The initiative on the MekongBasin, which is described here, is being implemented under this WAC Programme (asimilar Programme called Water for African Cities, is already being implementedsuccessfully in the Lake Victoria region of East Africa and in Southern Africa;experiences being made there are to be used for our work in Asia).WAC Programme Objectives:The Water for Asian Cities Programme is supporting the implementation of the water andsanitation related Millennium Development Goals and targets (MDGs) in Asian cities. Itis especially promoting:
Pro-poor Urban Water Governance
The views expressed in this paper are the views of the authors and do notnecessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB),or its Board of Directors, or the governments they represent. ADB does notguarantee the accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts noresponsibility for any consequences of their use. Terminology used may notnecessarily be consistent with ADB official terms.