• Fish Wong

On Sanitation Facilities

First blog post!

Decided to do some data visualisation about the sanitation services around the world

after a week of running out of hot water services at my apartment.



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Dataset from: http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.WSHSANITATION?lang=en

Well, water is important, everyone knows that. A human can go on without food for weeks, but could only last for at most three to four days without water.

Coming all the way from Asia to Europe, one of the first things I have to get used to is drinking tap water directly. I still remember an awkward moment when I was settling in, and my friend once said to me, we drink tap water here, what are you doing with that boiler?

From the graph(s) above, it is apparent enough that European countries generally have a high level of sanitation services. Even though Portugal was a bit behind two-decade ago, it is already catching up with the European standard in recent years. With only little gap for improvements, nearly every European countries (apart from France) that were chosen for visualisation are either still improving or maintaining the same level of sanitation services.


Looking at the visualised data with a glass of water in my hand, I inevitably start feeling depressed for people living in Africa, meanwhile grateful about I don't have to worry about clean water for my whole life.

Calm Down.

If there is one thing that I have learnt about media this semester, it would be don't be fooled by the media and be pessimistic about the world.

Breath. Let's look at the data in the Asia and Africa regions.

Population with basic sanitation services in countries such as Laos, India and Cambodia nearly increased by 50 per cent in the past two decades. And the population with basic sanitation services in China has surpassed the Philippines in 2005 and catching up on Thailand since then. Moreover, the population that has access to safely managed sanitation services in China and Laos rise by nearly 40 per cent during the period.

Would love to do more research on what projects/ policies these two countries implemented to reach such results.



Unsurprisingly, sanitation services in Africa are also progressing, though the improvement curves are less steep compared to Asia. One striking characteristic is the gap between different African countries is huge. While some countries are enjoying a certain level of sanitation services, other countries like Ghana is still suffering from a low level (less than 20 per cent) of sanitation services.



Note, some countries data for "safely managed sanitation services"are missing as proved from the world map above. While I am nor sure is it due to lack of survey or those countries still do not have such services.


#R #DataScience #Society #Sanitation

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