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Access to clean water declines in rural areas

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Access to clean water declines in rural areas

While there has been an increase in the number of households with access to tap water in towns and urban villages, the opposite is true in rural villages.

This is according to Botswana Environment Statistics – Human Settlements Report for 2018, which was only made public this week.

It is stated that in 2017, around 73 percent of households in towns and urban villages had access to a piped water source. This figure is considerably lower in rural villages, with just 27 percent of households reporting access to a tapped water source.

Additionally, from 2011 to 2017 the proportion of total households with access to improved water source through tapped or piped water dropped from 90.6 to 82.5.

Meanwhile, in terms of energy source, it was observed that over the six-year period, electricity usage increased noticeably in both urban areas and rural villages.

Usage rose from 69.1 percent to 84.6 percent in urban areas and from 23.9 percent to 35.4 percent in rural areas.

During the same period, it was further noted that paraffin, previously used as a source of lighting in rural areas, experienced a decrease while electricity became a leading source of power

Meanwhile, the same report has found that households living in shacks increased significantly from 1.21 percent in 1991 to 2.22 percent in 2017, a development described as a cause for concern.

The report says this implies that more households are at a high risk of contracting communicable diseases. In turn, the report warns this will become a burden for the economy.

According to the report, it has been observed that generally households occupying shacks in rural areas experienced a slight increase during the period under review despite a transformation from traditional to modern type of housing.

Notably, households occupying shacks in urban areas decreased from 1.4 percent in 1991 to 1.3 percent in 2001 and further dropped from 0.7 percent in 2011 to 0.4 percent in 2017.

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