Citizens for Justice and Peace

More than 800 million forced to travel at least 30 minutes to obtain safe water

27, Mar 2018 | CJP Team

A report from the charity WaterAid found that more than 800 million people are forced to travel and line up for at least 30 minutes to obtain safe water, the Guardian reported. According to the report 844 million people are “at the bottom of the ladder – with long journeys for clean water, or dependent upon contaminated wells, rivers or ponds.” The report notes that researchers now document both a person’s water source, and how far they must commute to reach it, with “Anything longer than a 30-minute round trip no longer counts as access.” In Eritrea, just 19% of the population has basic access to water. Eritrea is followed by Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia, where between 37% and 40% of the population has basic access to water. Notably, many of these countries are currently home to numerous refugees who reside in makeshift shelters. Income and other metrics also influence access to water. For example, in Niger, just 41% of the poorest population has access to water, compared to 72% of its richest residents. In Mali, 45% of the poor are able to access water, against 93% of the wealthy. The complete report, titled ‘The Water Gap: The State of the World’s Water 2018’, may be read here.


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