UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s World Water Day 2008 message included the following:
Leaders who adopted the Millennium Development Goals in 2000 envisioned halving the proportion of people living without access to basic sanitation by the year 2015 − but we are nowhere near on pace to achieve that Goal. Experts predict that, by 2015, 2.1 billion people will still lack basic sanitation. At the present rate, sub-Saharan Africa will not reach the target until 2076. While there have been advances, progress is hampered by population growth, widespread poverty, insufficient investments to address the problem and the biggest culprit: a lack of political will.
A lack of political will, indeed − neatly summed up in this cartoon from WSP’s 2008 calendar: