Can you drink the tap water in Benin?
In general, no.
The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in Benin (source).
Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.
Watch what you eat/drink and where you eat/drink it. If you are going to eat street food, make sure it is served very very hot, since bacteria will not live in hot food. The most common causes of sickness is e.coli bacteria found in undercooked meat. Drinking water is readily available, if you want bottled water there is "Possatome"- a natural spring water bottled in the city with the same name. It is very good and about 500 CFA a bottle. In Cotonou, the tap water is safe to drink but is treated with chlorine which some people may be sensitive to. Malaria is a reality in Benin. Mosquitoes appear from dusk to dawn, standing water is conducive to mosquito breeding; and anti-malarial pills are available by prescription only. The only compulsory vaccination needed to enter the country is against Yellow Fever. The customs agents at the airport generally do not check to see if you have it, but it is strongly advised to get it before entering for your own health. Along with vaccines against polio, hepatitis A and B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Lock Jaw, Rabies and all the other standard childhood vaccines (as per Canadian public school standards). AIDS is an issue in Benin as in all sub-Saharan African countries; use of a condom is highly recommended if entering into a sexual relationship with a Beninese partner. Other risks pertaining to unprotected sex are the same as in any other country whether developed or not: Syphilis, Chlamydia, HPV, etc. If traveling to Benin it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you speak to a doctor who specializes in travel. Ask your family doctor or public health nurse for the name of a travel clinic in your area. Go to them about 6 months prior to travel to Benin if possible. This information is designed as a guide and should not be taken as an expert account on how to stay healthy in Benin, only a licensed health professional can provide such information.
The most commonly searched cities in Benin are:
For a full list of cities in Benin, scroll to the bottom of this post or click here.
World Health Organization Benin Water Summary
The World Health Organization estimates that 66 percent of Benin have access to drinkable tap water.
World Health Organization's 2017 Benin Water Data
The World Health Organization data on water quality and availability throughout Benin includes the national average, averages for urban population centers, and averages for rural areas.
|Safely Managed||A location that safe, drinkable water that is free of biological or chemical contaminants available on premise.|
|At Least Basic||Safe drinkable water is available within 30 minutes from the location|
|Limited||It would take more than 30 minutes from the location to access safe, drinkable water.|
|Year||Population in 1000s||Safely managed||At Least Basic||Limited|
What Do People In Benin Think About The Tap Water?
Travelers and residents of Benin have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data.
A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.
|Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility||88%||High|
|Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility||13%||Low|