Don't drink Kenya's tap water, it's unsafe - study

Apeyok Ekidor of Kataboi Village in Turkana sips water from a tap. /FILE
Apeyok Ekidor of Kataboi Village in Turkana sips water from a tap. /FILE

Kenya is among the countries identified as having unsafe tap water for drinking.

It is among 187 countries in the world where tap water is deemed unsafe or unpalatable for tourists.

Holiday company Globehunters have 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.

The list of countries with

unsafe drinking water. /GLOBEHUNTERS

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 travellers 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.

They add that contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio.

Health costs associated with waterborne diseases and worm infections represent more than one-third of the income of poor households in sub-Saharan Africa.

UN Water adds that a person without access to improved drinking water is forced to rely on sources such as surface water, unprotected and possibly contaminated wells, or vendors selling water 'of unverifiable provenance and quality.'