CAIRO -- The United Nations says rural areas of Egypt still lack proper sanitation, representing a significant health hazard to people living there.
A recent report by Water Aid ranks Egypt the 16th worst place in the world for sanitation, the U.N.'s Integrated Regional Information Network reported Monday.
While nearly all Egyptians have access to piped water, the United Nations says only 58 percent of the people living in the deserts and agricultural areas have access to any kind of sanitation.
For many, toilets are just a hole in the ground, said Rania El-Essawi, sanitation officer at the Cairo office of UNICEF.
UNICEF is promoting intermediate sanitation technology for Egypt's rural areas to ensure that latrines are properly built until a more advanced sewage system is available.
The U.N.'s goal is to have Egypt provide sanitation to 77 percent of its 80 million residents by the year 2015.
El-Essawi says Egypt appears to be on track to accomplish that.
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