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751   Worldwide, 751 million people use shared sanitation facilities.

Millennium Development Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Target 7C: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation


Indicator 7.9: Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility


Shared sanitation facilities as defined for MDG monitoring purposes are facilities of an otherwise improved type that are either public or shared between two or more households. Sharing of improved sanitation facilities is most prevalent in urban areas. Often densely populated urban areas do not have sufficient space to construct private sanitation facilities and people rely on public or shared facilities.


Among the different regions, using a shared facility is most common in urban Sub-Saharan Africa (31 per cent), and particularly in Ghana. In 1990, 249 million people in urban areas used shared facilities as compared with 145 million in rural areas. Those numbers have now almost doubled to 497 million in urban areas and risen to 254 million in rural areas, representing a worldwide increase of 4 per cent. 

Source: Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water 2010 Update

Reference:, p. 23