AD16: Inadequate access, poor government performance make water a top priority in Africa

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Bentley, Thomas, Kangwook Han, and Richard Houessou

In observance of World Water Day (March 22), under the theme of “Water and Sustainable Development,” Afrobarometer data amplifies the voices of ordinary Africans who call on their governments to address inadequate water supply and sanitation as a top priority. Despite some infrastructure improvements, citizen perceptions and community-level observation in 34 African countries indicate that half of the population go without enough clean water for home use, while 44% of surveyed communities lack access to a piped water supply and 72% lack access to sewerage – and access rates are even worse in rural areas. Across much of Africa, citizens rate their governments’ performance on water and sanitation issues as “fairly” or “very” poor.