Wastewater Management and Sanitation in Asia

Waste management and sanitation remains a problem in developing Asia, where millions still suffer from the fact that most towns and cities use open dumps and only about 10% of solid waste ends up in properly engineered and managed landfill sites. Here's a by the numbers look at how wastewater management measures up in Asia and the Pacific.

Access figures

2.6 billion – the number of people, 72% of whom live in Asia, that do not have access to improved sanitation.
Source: Progress on sanitation and drinking-water, 2010 update, WHO/UNICEF

Most Asian cities do not have effective wastewater treatment systems. In the Philippines, for example, only 10% of wastewater is treated while in Indonesia the figure is 14%, in Viet Nam, 4%, and in India, 9%.
Source: Fast Facts: Urbanization in Asia. ADB.

50% - percentage of the population in Asia and the Pacific that have improved sanitation facilities.
Source: Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2011. ADB.

23% - percentage of the population in Asia and the Pacific that still defecate in open areas.
Source: Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2011. ADB.

Health issues

4-8% - percent of all disease burdens in Africa and developing countries in Southeast Asia are attributable to these unsafe water and sanitation.
Source: Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion: Programming Guide. WHO. 2005.

88% - percentage of cases of diarrhea worldwide attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene.
Source: Progress on sanitation and drinking-water, 2010 update, WHO/UNICEF

1.5 million – number of children who die each year due to diarrhea. The illness is the second leading cause of death among children under five globally. It kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
Source: Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done? WHO/UNICEF. 2009.

Economic impacts

$9 billion a year – estimated annual losses of countries in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines, Viet Nam) due to poor sanitation.
Source: Economics of Sanitation Intiative.

$60 billion a year – losses in countries in South Asia (Bangladesh and India).
Source: Economics of Sanitation Intiative.
 


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