Children in West and Central Africa

UNICEF in the region

Polio immunization

Child and Maternal Health


HIV/AIDS in the region


Water and sanitation

Child protection


Access to water and sanitation: a few definitions

Improved drinking water sources

The category ‘improved drinking water sources’ includes sources that, by nature of their construction or through active intervention, are protected from outside contamination, particularly faecal matter. It comprises piped water on premisessuch as piped household water connection located inside the user’s dwelling, plot or yard. Other improved drinking water sources include public taps or standpipes, tube wells or boreholes, protected dug wells, protected springs and rainwater collection.

Unimproved drinking water sources include unprotected dug well, unprotected spring, cart with small tank/drum, tanker truck, and surface water (river, dam, lake, pond, stream, canal, irrigation channels), bottled water.

Improved sanitation facilities

Open defecation: Defecation in fields, forests, bushes, bodies of water or other open spaces, or disposal of human faeces with solid waste.

Unimproved sanitation facilities: Facilities that do not ensure hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact. Unimproved facilities include pit latrines
without a slab or platform, hanging latrines and bucket latrines.

Shared sanitation facilities: Sanitation facilities of an otherwise acceptable type shared between two or more households. Shared facilities include public toilets.

Improved sanitation facilities: Facilities that ensure hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact. They include:
• Flush or pour-flush toilet/latrine to:
- piped sewer system
- septic tank
- pit latrine
• Ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrine
• Pit latrine with slab
• Composting toilet.











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