Top 10 Countries With Poor Sanitation Facilities

Access to clean sanitation facilities has improved for billions of people worldwide and continues to do so, thanks to increased global funding and efforts. But, according to the United Nations, over 2.6 billion people on Earth still live without access to necessary sewage and sanitation facilities. This number is very huge as compared to the burst in technology. There are many people who still defecate in the open and choose bushes over toilets, as it is correctly said that the world is suffering from “poop” problem. Without proper sanitation facilities, people have no choice other than excreting in the open and call for unwanted health problems. Moreover, providing the required sanitation facilities is also a huge challenge, as it requires huge amount of resources, especially when 7 billion people are taken into account. Here are the top 10 countries with poor sanitation facilities according to World Health Organization (WHO)!

10. Tanzania (32 million)


In a survey in 2007, 93% of Tanzanians reported that they had “some” form of Latrine, while only the other 3% had a proper flush toilet. The Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), estimates that only about 50% of the latrines in Tanzania can be considered as improved sanitation systems. So, according to the above report, the access to proper sanitation facilities is much lower than the people who have no access to latrine at all. The sanitation facilities in urban areas climbed to a 10% increase in 2010, but the percentage in rural areas took a huge dive.

9. Brazil (39 million)

Brazil faces some tough challenges in keeping the sanitation facilities up to the mark, due to inaccessible urban areas and proper funding. Even though Brazil’s sanitation improved by 78% in the period of 1990-2010, a functioning national system for sanitation facilities requires a high level of cost recovery plan. In 2013, the Brazilian government approved a National Sanitation Plan (Plansab) to reach a 94% increase in sanitation facilities by 2033. The plan foresees federal subsidies to the municipalities, but it has not been a great success as many rural municipalities failed to submit the application.

8. Democratic Republic of Congo (50 million)


DR, Congo is a very poor country in Africa where general awareness of proper sanitation is next to zero. Due to extreme poverty and illiteracy, people observe poor hygiene practices. General population even forego the washing of hands after going to the toilet, due to lack of proper water supply and poorly maintained facilities. The local government doesn’t provide waste disposal facilities which leads to people throwing waste in the open, which in turn invites various diseases like diarrhea ,which is a mass killer in Africa.

7. Ethiopia (71 million)


Ethiopia is one of the Sub-Saharan countries where proper water supply and sanitation is not up to the mark. With lack in education and stable government, people pay heavily in the sanitation and proper hygiene department. Even though there are strong sanitation policies set by the Ministry of Health, reaching remote rural areas is not feasible with low budget. Keeping this in mind the government has come up with an ambitious plan to increase the sanitation facilities by 98% in rural areas and this project is estimated at $2.5 billions.

6. Bangladesh (75 million)


Sanitation facilities provided by Bangladesh is commendable for a country with such a low income. The share of the population with access to an improved sanitation facility was estimated at 97% in 2004, which is very high for such a poor country. But, sanitation faces tough challenges because only 56% of the total population had access to adequate sanitation facilities in 2010. The government has adopted various policies to meet the adequate demand of proper sanitation facilities and they have been met with huge support from the general population.

5. Pakistan (98 million)


Pakistan has significantly increased its sanitation facilities from 27% to 45% in 2010 despite population growth. One of the most famous projects undertaken by the Pakistani government is the Orangi Pilot Project, in which the government has flushed an enormous amount of money to improve the poor sanitation conditions through a low cost sanitation program. This project has inspired many other projects throughout the country to elevate the living condition of the common people. This project has been provided with $1.1 million from the World Bank to provide adequate sanitation facilities to everyone, especially the poor.

4. Nigeria (103 million)


Nigeria is one of the African countries where the word “sanitation” is non-existent. With over two-third of the total population with no sanitation facilities, Nigeria is horribly suffering from poverty, poor hygiene and lack of medical attention. Moreover, the government doesn’t prioritize sanitation even though the country is facing serious health related issues. In Nigeria, the need of clean water is understood but, it is not the case with sanitation as it is widely ignored. Due to gaps in sanitation infrastructures, the common population can only dream of simple facilities like toilets. Though many steps have been taken by the United Nations to improve the condition of Nigeria but, the results are not very encouraging.

3. Indonesia (109 million)


Sanitation in Indonesia is characterized by poor levels of access and service quality. More than 110 million people of the 240 million total population, do not have access to adequate sanitation facilities. Moreover, the river bodies are clogged with garbage and only about 3% of the total population has access to proper sewage system. Many countries including Australia, Canada and USA have lent a helping hand in improving the condition of the common people by providing adequate monetary funds and technology.

2. China (607 million)


Nearly three-quarters of the Chinese population lives in rural areas where residents rely on open-pit latrines for sanitation purposes. As a result endemic and intestinal diseases are rampant in rural areas where medical facilities can’t be procured easily. The Chinese government has drastically improved the sanitary condition of 92% of the population by investing millions of dollars with over 42% of population having access to sanitary latrines. The Chinese government sees sanitation problem as the enemy of development and has undertaken various ambitious projects to curb this abomination.

1. India (818 million)


With the second biggest population in the world, India tops this list for providing poor sanitary facilities to the common people. According to various reports by the WHO, only 21% of the total rural population had access to adequate sanitary facilities in 2008. Moreover, this problem has caused many diseases in villages which further cut the pocket of the government to properly fund the sanitation projects. Nevertheless, India has only taken a step forward instead of stepping down. With various ambitious nationwide campaigns like Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, School Water and Sanitation towards health and Hygiene (SWASTHH), etc. India has spearheaded nationwide sanitation awareness campaigns to make the common people aware of the issues caused by the improper sanitation. By 2011, India provided clean and improved sanitation facilities to about 68% of the total population and it is still improving.


“Sanitation is more important than political freedom”– Mahatma Gandhi


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