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Korea: A Model For Development Of Water And Sanitation Sector

A recent report from Korea provides new insight on how it was able to develop the water sector during the period 1960-2012. In 1962, only 18 percent of Koreans had piped water connection. The country had no managed sewers, not to mention wastewater collection and treatment facilities that appeared only in the mid-seventies. The Korean Journal of Parasitology (2006) reported that in 1971, due to poor water services and absence of handwashing practices, more than 84 percent of fecal samples contained helminth contamination, a parasitic worm whose eggs are infective and can cause severe morbidity, malnutrition, anemia and other immunological changes. However, Korea's decision to integrate the water sector in the overal economic development of the country, accompanied by continuous revisions to the legal and regulatory framework were critical to turning things around.With international support including that from the World Bank, Korea galvanized its water sector by investing in water and wastewater infrastructure. The country also established municipal water and wastewater companies and trained engineers and specialists that continue running this vital sector.

The report can be read here (PDF): http://www.kwwa.or.kr/file/Korea_water_sector.pdf



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