We often forget how easily accessible clean water is for us and how we can drink it straight out of our taps at home. Clean water is vital for people all over the world, but sadly, many countries are lacking safe water and even sanitation facilities.

Some of the poorest countries in the world also have highly contaminated water which could lead to a number of illnesses and diseases, especially for young children. There are also people still practicing open defecation where there are no sanitation infrastructures, which ends up polluting the environment, creating water-borne diseases and malnutrition in children.


Poverty-stricken countries, mainly in Sub-Sahara Africa and parts of Asia have the dirtiest water in the world. Any traveler wanting to go to the countries listed below should always drink bottled or filtered water and practice good hygiene.

Ukraine's Water Is Said To Be Highly Contaminated

The lack of a proper pipe system in the southern region of Ukraine has made the nation's water quality extremely poor and no one should consider drinking it. Wastewater is also being mishandled incorrectly and is being discharged in 136 cities and towns and 50 urban villages each day, which means the people living in these areas must have water delivered to them.

People traveling to Ukraine should stick to drinking bottled water and the locals would highly recommend it. The water is also said to be highly contaminated because there is a concern that large amounts of chlorine in the water treatment processes have caused the formation of cancer-causing organics and can have negative health effects on anyone who drinks it. Travelers will most likely see people ordering water, which is inexpensive and much safer.

Chad's Access To Drinking Water And Sanitation Services Is Among The Lowest In The World

The people of Chad are suffering because they do not have access to clean water and sanitation. UNICEF has reported that an outstanding 5.6 million children in Chad are at an increased risk of contracting a waterborne illness with rainy seasons hitting the nation. Disease and illness outbreaks like cholera and Hepatitis E are spreading because of the unsafe water and lack of proper sanitation in Chad, and even standing in mosquito-infested pools of water can result in people contracting malaria.

Water supply in Chad is very low and even with people having access to it, there are chances that the water is polluted. Lake Chad is the country's main water supply, however, the lake is dramatically decreasing because of the demand for water and many women are forced to walk miles to get clean water.

Ethiopia Is Facing A Water Crisis

A whopping 62 million Ethiopians don't have access to safe water and 97 million people don't have access to sanitation with 23 million of those people practicing open defecation.

Although there has been progress in Ethiopia to reduce open defecation, there is still a number of people in rural areas that continue to practice it, which ends up contaminating the waters, is a major health risk that can lead to diseases and malnutrition in children. Lack of proper sanitation and hygiene is high in Ethiopia and access to it remains low. Also, one major issue the country faces is sometimes years of drought, where disease will run rampant and not enough water for people to properly bath, leading to illnesses.

If you are traveling to Ethiopia, it's highly advised to not drink any water from a tap, with bottled and filtered water available to tourists at hotels, safari camps, and restaurants.

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One In Five People Do Not Have Access To Clean Water In Cambodia

Cambodia doesn't lack water thanks to its tropical climate, but it is lacking safe water. Cambodia is another country facing a water crisis with about 3 million people out of the entire population lacking access to safe water, and 6.5 million Cambodians lacking access to improved sanitation.

People living in villages will catch rainwater and store it for long periods of time, but by doing this, it can create parasites and a breeding ground for mosquitoes that are carrying malaria. Many children are getting sick with diseases that can be treated, but the country lacks the necessary medications and tools to save them.

The country also suffers from contaminated water because of improper waste disposal. Most people throw their waste behind buildings where they cook, and that trash leaks toxin in the ground, which end up in the water. Drinking bottled water is a traveler's best option when visiting Cambodia.

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