Inter-American Development Bank

About 120 million people lack access systems for potable water and basic health services in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to figures released this week at the 2nd Latin American Sanitation Conference. Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) Water and Sanitation Division Chief Federico Basanes added that just 20 percent of the region’s waste water is treated before being expelled. Basanes also emphasized the difficulty in getting investments in sanitation services because of the fact that the majority of projects do not have a short-term time frame. “This sector requires very long-term investments, of 25, 30 or 35 years, and it’s difficult to find investment. We must guarantee the sustainability of these types of investments,” he said. El Pais adds that World Bank Vice President the region, Pamela Cox said that she felt the region has moved forward in comparison with other areas of the world with results that she called “promising.” She cited World Bank data showing that in the last three years more than 20 million people obtained access to improved sanitation services in Latin America and the Caribbean, and she said it is predicted that coverage will reach 84 percent of the public in the region within the next five years.

About the author