Tap Water Safety in Somalia

Can you drink the tap water in Somalia?

In general, no.

The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in Somalia (source).

Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.


Locals in Hargeisa drink tap water filtered and treated by the Chinese government. The cleanliness is not adequate for visitors though. If you are not a local, you MUST drink bottled water, as drinking tap water can cause digestive issues (diarrhea and/or vomiting) It is however very uncommon to find diseases such as cholera in the drinking water.

The most commonly searched cities in Somalia are:

For a full list of cities in Somalia, scroll to the bottom of this post or click here.

World Health Organization Somalia Water Summary

The World Health Organization estimates that 52 percent of Somalia have access to drinkable tap water.

World Health Organization's 2017 Somalia Water Data

The World Health Organization data on water quality and availability throughout Somalia includes the national average, averages for urban population centers, and averages for rural areas.

Safely ManagedA location that safe, drinkable water that is free of biological or chemical contaminants available on premise.
At Least BasicSafe drinkable water is available within 30 minutes from the location
LimitedIt would take more than 30 minutes from the location to access safe, drinkable water.
YearPopulation in 1000sSafely managedAt Least BasicLimited

What Do People In Somalia Think About The Tap Water?

Travelers and residents of Somalia 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 Inaccessibility35%Moderate
Water Pollution59%Moderate
Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility65%High
Water Quality41%Moderate

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View our tap water report on all cities in Somalia

View other countries in Africa