Visualizing the Water Accessibility Divide in Sub-Saharan Africa
According to the United Nations, having access to safe drinking water is a universal human right.
Yet, in Sub-Saharan Africa, only 39% of the population has water connected to their homes—and in the region’s rural areas, this figure drops to just 19%.
This graphic by Gilbert Fontana uses data from the United Nations to compare water accessibility in different countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. The data specifically looks at water on-premises, which is defined as water that’s connected to a person’s dwelling.
The Water Accessibility Gap
In Sub-Saharan Africa, water accessibility varies greatly both within and across countries.
For example, Ethiopia has one of the widest gaps within a single country—while 75% of its urban population has access to on-premises water, only 5% of its rural population has water piped to their homes.
While it is one of the most populated countries in Africa, with more than 115 million people as of 2020, Ethiopia is also one of the poorest. It has a national income per capita of only $890, and about 20% of Ethiopia’s population lives in rural areas of the country, leaving about 4.5 million people without access to on-premises water.
Here’s a breakdown of water access in other countries across Sub-Saharan Africa:
|Country||Population Type||% of population with drinking water on premises (2020)|
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