African Cities Are Running Out Of Water
By Leah Freeman-Haskin
Water shortages are affecting communities across the globe as climate change, growing populations, and water pollution become a growing problem for many. A number of African cities are currently at risk of running out of water if the necessary funding and infrastructure is not quickly put into place.
The African Development Bank estimates that it will take $66 billion to provide adequate universal access to water and sanitation throughout the entire continent of Africa. An additional $170 billion is needed to build infrastructures like dams and purification plants. If Africa is unable to put these critical resources in place, major cities, like Cape Town in South Africa, could eventually run out of water.
Currently, one in every three people in Africa does not have access to a clean water supply. Water shortages can lead to high risks of sickness, dehydration, malnutrition, and possibly death. Sanitation becomes a huge concern as people are forced to defecate in rivers when there are no proper toilets and basic sanitation facilities in place. This leads to the contamination of fresh river water with bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which if consumed, can lead to cholera and typhoid fever.
Many young girls and women are forced to walk miles every day to get to a water supply, hindering their ability to attend school or earn income, further affecting the future of the continent.
It is possible that problem could get worse. According to euractiv.com, Africa’s population is expected to double by 2055, providing new opportunities for economic growth, but also additional challenges and a strain on the continent’s water supply.
[Source: Business Insider|