Saturday, April 13, 2024
CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Stats Gate - Ranked: These countries have the least access to safe drinking water in the world, 2024

Stats Gate

Ranked: These countries have the least access to safe drinking water in the world, 2024

drinking water

Access to safe drinking water is a fundamental human right. The United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized people’s right to sanitation and water in 2010. Therefore, every person worldwide is entitled to adequate, uninterrupted, and potable water. This essential human need should also be affordable, not expensive, and physically accessible for personal and domestic use.

In many countries today, people encounter problems with safe drinking water. Although this natural resource is available in nearly all parts of the globe, many countries offer expensive water, and its supply is not always sustainable. Additionally, untreated and raw water has resulted in people suffering from gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

With the severity of the global problem of potable water access, CEOWORLD magazine’s researchers believe readers should be more informed regarding this critical dilemma. They explained the current status of safe drinking water worldwide and included data on the countries where access to this important natural resource is problematic.

What is considered “safe drinking water”? 

Potable or safe drinking water is water that is not harmful to ingest via food preparation or directly drunk in liquid form. It comes from ground sources like aquifers, hyporheic zones, and surfaces like streams, rivers, and glaciers. Moreover, mineral water is obtained in springs. Safe drinking water undergoes sufficient treatment to levels that meet the federal and state quality standards for consumption. Microorganisms, fecal matter, viruses, bacteria, and toxic chemicals are eliminated from the liquid. Furthermore, potable water prevents the transmission of various diseases like polio, typhoid, cholera, diarrhea, and dysentery which are usually caused by microbiologically contaminated drinking water.

drinking water

Which countries do not have access to potable water? 

More than 2 billion people worldwide are from water-stressed countries, according to the World Health Organization data. This trend is anticipated to worsen in some regions due to population growth and climate change. CEOWORLD magazine’s researchers included the following table, which exhibits the countries with insufficient access to safe drinking water:

Countries with Inadequate Potable Water Access: In the table below, Papua New Guinea tops the list, with 60 percent of this country’s population without enough access to microbial contamination-free drinking water. This percentage translates to 5.9 million Papua New Guinea citizens at risk of unsafe drinking water. Seven out of the top ten countries on the list are located in Africa. The residents of these locations do not have access to drinking water from improved sources. Water is also unavailable when needed and is usually contaminated with fecal and priority chemicals.

Is potable water widely available in developed countries?

Developed countries generally provide their people with enough safe drinking water. Their governments facilitate the practice of hygiene, which is an important factor in preventing numerous diseases, including diarrhea and acute respiratory infections. Switzerland is not included in the list of countries with insufficient access to potable water because the latter is not a problem in this developed country. People in Switzerland benefit from consuming the world’s safest drinking water. The Swiss Government also enforces stringent regulations for potable water treatment.

In North America, Canada and the United States are also near the bottom of the list of countries with inadequate access to safe drinking water. Merely 0.8 percent of the United States population and 0.2 percent of Canada’s are inconvenienced by this issue.

Countries with the least access to safe drinking water in the world, 2024

RankCountryRegionGDP (USD million)Percentage who Lack of Access To Safe Drinking Water
1Papua New GuineaMelanesia31,69260%
2Equatorial GuineaCentral Africa10,04152.10%
3AndorraSouthern Europe3,69251%
4ChadCentral Africa12,59649.20%
5MozambiqueEastern Africa21,93648.90%
6MadagascarEastern Africa15,76348.50%
7DR CongoCentral Africa67,51247.60%
8AfghanistanSouthern Asia 14,93944.70%
9SudanNorthern Africa25,56944.50%
10TanzaniaEastern Africa84,03344.40%
11EthiopiaEastern Africa155,80442.70%
13EritreaEastern Africa2,25542.20%
14MauritaniaWestern Africa10,35742.10%
15NigerWestern Africa17,07341.80%
16PalestineWest Asia18,10941.60%
17South SudanEastern Africa6,26741.30%
18Sierra LeoneWestern Africa3,51937.40%
19TogoWestern Africa9,11136.90%
20KenyaEastern Africa112,74936.80%
21MongoliaEastern Asia18,78235.60%
22ZambiaEastern Africa29,53634.60%
23NigeriaWestern Africa390,00231.50%
24Central African RepublicCentral Africa2,76031.50%
25TajikistanCentral Asia11,81626.20%
26EswatiniSouthern Africa4,64825.90%
27CambodiaSoutheastern Asia30,94324.50%
28CameroonCentral Africa49,26224.40%
29LiberiaWestern Africa4,34724.40%
30LaosSoutheastern Asia14,24424.30%
31BurundiEastern Africa3,19024.10%
32GuineaWestern Africa23,20523.20%
33ZimbabweEastern Africa32,42423.10%
34MaliWestern Africa21,30923%
35BeninWestern Africa19,94022.10%
36SenegalWestern Africa31,14121.50%
37UgandaEastern Africa52,39021%
38MyanmarSoutheastern Asia74,86119.40%
39Solomon IslandsMelanesia1,69019.20%
40LesothoSouthern Africa2,37318.20%
41Ivory CoastCaribbean79,43018.10%
42Burkina FasoWestern Africa20,78517.70%
43AlgeriaNorthern Africa224,10716.40%
44Dominican RepublicCaribbean120,62915.30%
45MoroccoNorthern Africa147,34314.60%
46IraqWest Asia297,69513.40%
47PeruSouth America264,63613.30%
48BangladeshSouthern Asia446,34913.10%
49EcuadorSouth America118,68613.10%
50AzerbaijanWest Asia77,39213%
51NicaraguaCentral America17,35313%
52IndonesiaSoutheastern Asia1,417,38712.60%
53MoldovaSoutheastern Europe (Balkans)16,00011.60%
54GhanaWestern Africa76,62811.30%
56BoliviaSouth America46,79610%
57KyrgyzstanCentral Asia12,68110%
58DjiboutiEastern Africa3,87310%
59SyriaWest Asia11,8009.90%
60MalawiEastern Africa13,1769.80%
61GambiaWestern Africa2,3889.80%
62NamibiaSouthern Africa12,6479%
63HondurasCentral America33,9928.80%
64PakistanSouthern Asia340,6368.60%
65ColombiaSouth America363,8358.60%
66NepalSouthern Asia41,3398.40%
67Cape VerdeWestern Africa2,5988.30%
68PhilippinesSoutheastern Asia435,6758.20%
69GuatemalaCentral America102,7657.20%
70KazakhstanCentral Asia259,2927.10%
71VenezuelaSouth America92,2106.90%
72South AfricaSouthern Africa380,9066.80%
73GabonCentral Africa19,3196.80%
74OmanWest Asia108,2826.60%
75El SalvadorCentral America35,3396.20%
76JamaicaEastern Asia18,7616.20%
77IndiaSouthern Asia3,732,2245.90%
79PanamaCentral America82,3485.30%
80SurinameSouth America3,5395.20%
82AlbaniaSoutheastern Europe (Balkans)23,0324.90%
83Trinidad and TobagoCaribbean27,8874.90%
84Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesCaribbean1,0394.90%
85ChinaEastern Asia17,700,8994.50%
86Sri LankaSouthern Asia88,3094.40%
88SeychellesEastern Africa2,0854.30%
89MexicoNorth America1,811,4683.90%
90IranWest Asia366,4383.80%
91UkraineEastern Europe173,4133.80%
92BotswanaSouthern Africa20,7563.80%
93Saint LuciaCaribbean2,4693.70%
94LithuaniaNorthern Europe79,4273.40%
96RussiaEastern Europe1,862,4703.10%
97JordanWest Asia50,0223.10%
98Saudi ArabiaWest Asia1,069,4373%
99São Tomé and PríncipeCentral Africa6742.90%
100VietnamSoutheastern Asia433,3562.40%
101TunisiaNorthern Africa51,2712.30%
103ThailandSoutheastern Asia512,1932.20%
104Costa RicaCentral America85,5902.20%
105IrelandWestern Europe589,5692.10%
106Antigua and BarbudaCaribbean1,9492.10%
107ParaguaySouth America44,1422%
108BrazilSouth America2,126,8091.90%
109MalaysiaSoutheastern Asia430,8951.80%
110PolandCentral Europe842,1721.70%
111GuyanaSouth America16,3291.70%
112Saint Kitts and NevisCaribbean1,0691.70%
114ChileSouth America344,4001%
115LebanonWest Asia37,9451%
116KuwaitWest Asia159,6871%
118ArgentinaSouth America621,8330.90%
119United StatesNorth America26,949,6430.80%
120SerbiaSoutheastern Europe (Balkans)75,0150.80%
121LatviaNorthern Europe46,6680.70%
122EgyptNorthern Africa398,3970.60%
123BulgariaSoutheastern Europe (Balkans)103,0990.60%
124North MacedoniaSoutheastern Europe (Balkans)15,8010.60%
125SloveniaSoutheastern Europe (Balkans)68,3940.50%
126BelizeCentral America3,2180.50%
127United Arab EmiratesWest Asia509,1790.40%
128CroatiaSoutheastern Europe (Balkans)80,1850.40%
129EstoniaNorthern Europe41,7990.40%
131North KoreaEastern Asia48,3500.30%
132BelarusEastern Europe68,8640.30%
133UruguaySouth America76,2440.30%
134MontenegroSoutheastern Europe (Balkans)7,0580.30%
136CanadaNorth America2,117,8050.20%
137Bosnia and HerzegovinaSoutheastern Europe (Balkans)26,9450.10%
138MauritiusEastern Africa14,8190.10%

What is the future of safe drinking water worldwide?

Readily available and safe water is significant for public health. People can enjoy quality living if they have access to clean water for drinking, food production, and recreation. Countries can also ascend economically and reduce poverty incidences if they have better sanitation and water supply and improved water resource management.

Based on WHO data, 6 billion people – or 73 percent of the world’s population – utilized safely managed potable water services in 2022. The contaminant-free drinking water is based on a facility and available when the people need it. CEOWORLD magazine’s researchers view that this trend of more countries worldwide achieving better access to potable water must carry on in the coming years. This endeavor is possible with the partnership between all stakeholders: governments, non-governmental organizations, private companies, and citizens. Together they can eradicate the unequal access to affordable and safe drinking water.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Stats Gate - Ranked: These countries have the least access to safe drinking water in the world, 2024
Katherina Davis
Deputy News Editor at CEOWORLD Magazine. Covering money, work, and lifestyle stories. Covering issues of importance to public company nominating and corporate governance committees, including new director recruitment, board evaluations, onboarding, director compensation and overall corporate governance. More recently, I have joined the newsletters team, writing and editing some of the CEOWORLD Magazine's key reader emails.