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March 9, 2019

Turkey to Cyprus and Fiji to Maldives: 187 countries where drinking tap water risky

World

March 9, 2019

Travel has never been more accessible. Record numbers of people are exploring the world’s far-flung and exotic locations, ranging from Asia and Australia to Africa and Antarctica.But, once on foreign soil, many find themselves confused by the health rules regarding safe drinking water. And for good reason.

Despite advances in global sanitation, there are 187 countries in the world where tap water is deemed unsafe or unpalatable for tourists. Getting it wrong could mean a string of grim and potentially-fatal infections.

Fortunately, a holiday company has designed an infographic based on official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. The easy-to-read guide makes clear the distinction between safe and risky locations with a colour-coded map and definitive list of destinations.

Unsurprisingly, tap water is safest in the developed world, including: UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Northern and Western Europe, the US and Japan. Conversely, places such as Central America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East are deemed high-risk.

That said, just because a country is included on the ‘unsafe’ list doesn’t necessarily mean their tap water is dirty - rather, it could just be unsuitable for visitors. This means that travelers could get ill because the pathogens in the water are foreign to their immune systems, not because what they drink is infected with faeces.

However, the dangers remain pronounced. According to the World Health Organisation, some 842,000 people are estimated to die each year from diarrhoea as a result of unsafe drinking-water, sanitation and hand hygiene.

Following are the countries where tap water is unsafe: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Azores, The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bonaire, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma (Myanmar), Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands (U.K.), Central African Republic, Chad, China, Christmas Island (Australia), Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Colombia, Comoros, Cuba, Cyprus, Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Easter Island (Chile), Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini (Swaziland), Ethiopia, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), Faroe Islands (Denmark), Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji , French Guiana (France), French Polynesia (France), Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Gibraltar , Grenada, Guam (U.S.), Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR (China), India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast (see Côte d’Ivoire), Jamaica , Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya , Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Macau SAR (China), Madagascar, Madeira Islands (Portugal), Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte (France), Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat (U.K.), Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma) , Nambia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue (New Zealand), Norfolk Island (Australia), North Korea, Northern Mariana Islands (U.S.), Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn Islands , Qatar, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Rwanda, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Georgia/South Sandwich Islands , South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wake Island, Western Sahara, Yemen , Zambia and Zimbabwe.