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How Widespread is Water Insecurity for Indigenous Peoples in Latin America?

The UN Sustainable Development Goal #6 is to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by 2030. Right now, many indigenous peoples worldwide lack access to acceptable drinking water. Let’s look at the situation in Latin America, where numerous indigenous communities live:

  • In Latin American countries (LAC), indigenous peoples are 10% to 25% less likely to have access to piped water than the region’s non-indigenous population.

  • There are over 800 distinct indigenous peoples in Latin America.

  • 41% of Guatemala’s population is indigenous.

  • 43% of the approximately 42 million indigenous peoples in LAC live in poverty.

  • 71% of indigenous peoples have access to piped water in LAC, compared to 90% of non-indigenous peoples.

  • One reason for the access gap is that about 50% of LAC’s indigenous peoples live in rural communities that are often remote.

  • In rural Nicaragua, 63% of indigenous peoples have access to improved sanitation coverage, compared to 72% for non-indigenous peoples.


Source: World Bank Group

Information in this article was derived from the following World Bank Group report


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