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What percentage of Africa’s population has access to piped water?

Unicef defines five levels of service in relation to access to drinking water, ranging from ‘surface water’ – drinking water directly from a river, dam, lake, pond, stream, canal or irrigation canal – to ‘safely managed,’ which is drinking water from an improved source that is accessible on site, available when needed and free from faecal and priority chemical contamination. While 73% of the world’s population used safely managed drinking water services in 2022, the regional coverage in sub-Saharan Africa was just 31%. According to Unicef, sub-Saharan Africa had the highest number of people without basic drinking water in urban areas (73 million), more than double the number in Central and Southern Asia (32 million).

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