We will have to scale up water and sanitation access (SEMIDE / EMWIS)

Read at :


Study Reveals Large, Untapped Potential for Water and Sanitation Services for the World’s Poor

Many of the poorest, un-served people in developing countries, for whom public water and sanitation services are out of reach, could increasingly rely on service provision through the domestic private sector.  Tapping the Markets: Opportunities for Domestic Investments in Water and Sanitation for the Poor, a new report today released by the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), finds that this will not only improve their livelihoods but is also an enormous market potential which waits to be tapped.

Today, 2.5 billion people lack access to sanitation and at least 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water. Global estimates of economic losses from the lack of access to water and sanitation are estimated at US$260 billion every year.  “The public sector alone cannot meet this massive challenge; if we want to end extreme poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity for the bottom 40%, we will have to scale up water and sanitation access,” said WSP Manager Jae So. “And to do that, both the public and private sector will need to work together.”

One of the most striking findings of the report is the enormous market potential. Focusing only on Bangladesh, Benin, and Cambodia, about 20 million people are projected to obtain their water from rural piped water schemes by 2025. That is 10 times the current number, a market worth at least US$90 million a year. On the sanitation side, there is a potential US$700 million Bottom of the Pyramid market in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Peru, and Tanzania.  The current total market for improved on-site sanitation services in these four countries is estimated to be worth US$2.6 billion.



Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.