Water, sanitation and hygiene
Only six of the 21 countries in the region, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Afria, Swaziland, and Uganda are on track to meet the related target under MDG 7 of reducing the proportion of the population without access to safe water by half between 1990 and 2015.
Geographical disparities are vast, with 87 percent of people in urban neighborhoods having access to improved drinking water sources compared to 59 percent of the population in rural areas.
Only three countries, Angola, Botswana, and South Africa, are on track to meet the MDG target of reducing the proportion of people without sanitation by half.
Open defecation – the unhealthiest sanitation practice of all – is still commonplace in some countries. In Ethiopia, Namibia and Mozambique, for example, the proportion of people who practice open defecation stands at 46, 52 and 41 percent,
In the whole of sub-Saharan Africa it is particularly the poor who lack access to sanitation. The lowest income quintile is 16 times more likely to practice open defecation than the highest.
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