In Egypt, water infrastructure coverage has grown substantially over the last decades. In 2014, around 91 percent of the Egyptian population received water directly into their residence. However, while access to water is almost universal and reliable in urban areas, a significant number of households are still not connected with the water system in rural areas and in urban slums. 7.3 million people are deprived of access to safe water, among which 5.8 million live in rural areas and 1.5 million in urban areas. In rural areas, around 12 percent of the population live in dwellings not connected to the water system while, in urban areas, it’s 4 percent which do not have water connection. They are usually located in urban slums and poor settlements. In urban slum areas, only around 77 percent of households have piped water coming into their homes and in many cases the connection is illegal.
In Egypt, 8.4 million people are deprived of access to improved sanitation, mostly in rural areas. Overall, 10 percent of the Egyptian population did not benefit from access to improved sanitation, with marked geographical and socio-economic disparities in 2014. In rural areas, on average, the share of population without access to adequate sanitation was around 15 percent in 2014, compared with around 1 percent among urban dwellers.1 96 percent of all Egyptian households have place for washing hands, with no substantial difference between urban and rural households. However, in rural areas, around 13 percent of those households don’t use soap or other detergent.
Regarding water, sanitation and hygiene in schools, most updated statistics report access to piped water coverage at 98 percent in urban areas and at 84 percent in rural areas.
Lack of access to safe water and proper sanitation facilities as well as poor hygiene contribute to the spreading of diseases, which significantly and negatively impact on children’s health and nutrition. In Egypt, diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among under-5 children. Most diarrhea-related deaths in children are due to dehydration from loss of large quantities of water and electrolytes. Statistics show that 3,500 – 4,000 under-five children die of diarrhea every year.