Poor access to improved water and sanitation are still a daily reality and a high-priority policy issue for majority of citizens in 34 African countries, a new Afrobarometer survey has reported.
Half of the population on the continent goes without enough clean water for home use, the report said, while 44 percent of surveyed communities lack access to piped water supply.
The report stated that 72 percent lacked access to sewerage and that access rates were even worse in rural areas and across much of Africa, saying citizens rated their governments’ performance on water and sanitation issues as “fairly” or “very” poor.
In observance of World Water Day - March 22 - Afrobarometer data amplifies the voices of ordinary Africans who urge their governments to address inadequate water supply and sanitation as a top priority.
Water and sanitation rank fourth among important problems that citizens say their governments must address, the report said.
One in five respondents rate water and sanitation among their top three priorities, while about half signifying 49 percent go without enough clean.
According to the survey, majority of citizens representing 54 percent say they could only access water outside their homes, nonetheless 21 percent were reported to have water source inside their compound, but outside their home.
Just one in four, representing 24 percent, is said to have a water source inside their homes.
Four of 10 surveyed communities 44 percent have no piped water supply, while rural areas are more likely to lack piped water supply, 63 percent than urban areas 15 percent, the report added.
A majority of 55 percent of African citizens rate their government’s handling of water supply and sanitation as “fairly bad,” or “very bad,” the report said, adding that negative ratings are highest in Egypt (78 percent), Cameroon (75 percent), and Nigeria (71 percent).
The lowest are in Algeria (23 percent), Malawi (28 ), and Botswana (31 percent).
Afrobarometer is an African-led, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues across more than 30 countries in Africa.
Five rounds of surveys were conducted between 1999 and 2013, and six rounds of surveys are currently underway (2014-2015).
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