Access to clean water

Congo is Africa’s most water-rich country, holding more than half of the continent’s fresh water reserves, but 75% of the country’s 80 million people have no access to safe drinking water. Lack of access to water and sanitation, coupled with poor hygiene, are among the top five risk factors associated with death and disability in the country. The lack of access to clean water is now putting millions of people at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus. People often walk long distances to collect water, a task that mostly falls on women and girls, putting them at risk of sexual violence in remote areas. The government’s poor basic infrastructure and lack of funds for maintenance of the state water provider Regideso means that foreign donors provide nearly 99% of water sector financing in Congo.