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Poor Water

Map No. 186

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Drinking water is essential to live, but dirty drinking water is also a major cause of disease. Whilst most people living in Western Europe can access safe water, only 50% of people living in Central Africa can do this. The largest population without access to safe tap water is in China: that is 324 million people, or 25% of the population. In a quarter of all territories more than a quarter of the population is without access to safe water. Worldwide 18% of people have no safe drinking water. Safer water can be obtained by treating water, collecting it from a spring, or pumping it up from groundwater.

"It is the cause of debilitating diseases for the majority of children. That is how serious a lack of sanitation and clean water is." Hans Spruijt, 2004

Territory size shows the proportion of all people without reliable access to safe water that live there.

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