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Millennium Development Goal 7.C--Access to Water: An Exploratory Look at Six Countries

Gerstel, Christina (2012) Millennium Development Goal 7.C--Access to Water: An Exploratory Look at Six Countries. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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At the beginning of 1980, it was estimated that 1.8 billion people, or 40 percent of the world’s population, lacked access to a safe drinking water supply. In 2000, the United Nations established the Millennium Development Goals, and among these goals is MDG 7.C, which aims to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water. In March of 2012, the WHO and UNICEF announced that the drinking water target for MDG 7.C had been met ahead of the 2015 deadline. However, 30 years after access to safe drinking water became a global priority, millions of people around the world still lack this basic necessity.
Water has many important health and developmental applications and consequences. Lack of water or access to poor quality water contributes to inadequate hygienic practices and is closely linked to diseases. High mortality and morbidity rates that result from the inaccessibility of safe water come with significant social and economic costs. With a primary emphasis on the consequences to health, the public health significance of this paper focuses on access to safe drinking water as a means to improve hygiene practices and reduce water-borne diseases.
This paper explores six developing countries that have experienced different levels of success in achieving the drinking water target of MDG 7.C. As this analysis reveals, one of the biggest contributing factors that seem to have led to the success of Malawi and Burkina Faso is each country’s ability to absorb the rapid urban population growth each has experienced while still increasing the proportion of the population’s access to improved drinking water sources. Additionally, both countries have made water a specific development priority and backed this up with funding, sound policies and seemingly strong water sector authorities with clearly defined roles.
There remain 780 million people without access to safe drinking water who are in constant danger of illness, disability and death. As Malawi and Burkina Faso have demonstrated, MDG 7.C can be achieved. With the right support and planning, many of the world’s poorest countries can achieve the same successes as these two countries.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorTerry, Marthamaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberBarchowsky, Aaronaab20@pitt.eduAAB20
Committee MemberChakos, Nicholaschakos@pitt.eduCHAKOS
Date: 24 September 2012
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 19 July 2012
Approval Date: 24 September 2012
Submission Date: 23 July 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 141
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Water, access, development, millennium development goals
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2012 18:43
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:01

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  • Millennium Development Goal 7.C--Access to Water: An Exploratory Look at Six Countries. (deposited 24 Sep 2012 18:43) [Currently Displayed]


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