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Improved sanitation


Improved sanitation

Improved sanitation is a way of categorizing certain types or levels of WHO in 2002 to help monitor the progress towards Goal Number 7 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The opposite of "improved sanitation" has been termed "unimproved sanitation" in the JMP definitions.


  • Definitions 1
    • Improved sanitation 1.1
    • Unimproved sanitation 1.2
  • References 2


Improved sanitation

An improved sanitation facility is defined as one that hygienically separates human excreta from human contact.[1] It is not necessarily identical with sustainable sanitation.

To allow for international comparability of estimates for monitoring the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation defines "improved" sanitation as the following kind of toilets:[1]

Unimproved sanitation

Sanitation facilities that are not considered as "improved" (also called "unimproved") are:

  • Public or shared latrine
  • Flush/pour flush to elsewhere (not into a pit, septic tank, or sewer)
  • Pit latrine without slab
  • Bucket latrines
  • Hanging toilet / latrine
  • No facilities / bush / field (open defecation)


  1. ^ a b WHO and UNICEF (2012) Improved and unimproved water and sanitation facilities, WHO, Geneva and UNICEF, New York, accessed on 15 June 2015
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