The Millennium Development Goals set the target to “halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation”. The current international definition of indicators of access is insufficient for measuring this target. Furthermore, the lack of an internationally agreed definition and measurement methodology is causing confusion and uncertainty regarding the figures that are disseminated worldwide. Moreover, the current context, in which almost 70% of funds for the sector are channelled through national governments, emphasises the importance of a monitoring system for national water sectors in developing countries. From this, an improvement in investment efficiency is expected. The water point mapping methodology, promoted and widely developed by the international organization WaterAid, is presented as an alternative way of defining water access indicators. The present paper describes its potential for defining new indicators and making improvements. Our research is based on the results of a pilot study carried out by Ingeniería Sin Fronteras (Engineering without Borders, Spain) in the Same district, Tanzania. The paper concludes with a discussion of the challenges posed by the implementation of this methodology and proposes further steps for improvement.

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