Inside Africa\'s Water Crisis


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Inside Africa\'s Water Crisis

  1. 1. Anthony Scaletta<br />Geography of Africa<br />April 8, 2010<br />Inside Africa's Water Crisis<br />
  2. 2. More than half of all African’s lack access to safe drinking water (UN) <br />The avg. distance a woman in Africa walks to collect water is 3.75 miles <br />1/3 of women in Egypt walk over an hour/day for water<br />In other parts of Africa, the task can consume as much as 8 hrs<br />Women can expend as much as 85% of their daily energy intake on getting water<br />The weight of water that women in Africa carry on their heads: 40-50lbs. <br />Medical research has documented cases of permanent damage to women's health as a result of carrying water<br />Chronic fatigue, Spinal & pelvic deformities, Effects on reproductive health including spontaneous abortion<br />Of all the renewable water available in Africa each year, only 4% is used <br />Most Africans lack Wells, Canals, Pumps, Reservoirs, & Irrigation Systems<br />Overview<br />
  3. 3. Sources: World Health Report (WHO, 2004),<br />
  4. 4. Overview<br />Water Coverage<br />Lowest overall water supply coverage of any region in the world<br />14 countries <50% coverage for national water supply<br />~ 62% of Africans have access to improved water supply<br />Urban-Rural Disparity <br />Sanitation <br />~ 60% sanitation coverage overall <br />10 countries <50% coverage for sanitation<br /> 45% rural / 84% urban <br />WHO Data (1990-2000)<br />Urban areas steady in coverage and sanitation<br /> Rural water supply increased slightly while rural sanitation has fallen<br />
  5. 5. Water & Sanitation Crisis<br />Waterborne Diseases killing in large numbers<br />Limits economic growth and development<br />Looking Ahead<br />Africa’s Rapid Population Growth : Widening the Gap<br />Population Projected to increase by 65% over the next 25 years<br />Another 400 million people will need access to safe water & sanitation <br />Accelerates Deforestation <br />Climate Change<br />Droughts <br />~ Half of Africa's population is threatened by desertification<br />Poverty Linkage<br />2 in 3 people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day<br />Overview<br />
  6. 6. Poverty & Lack of Water Access<br />Access to clean water is the most essential necessity for all people <br />Water Scarcity<br />An environmental constraint that hinders development <br />Creates Social Conflicts btw. various water users<br />Individuals, Communities, Industries, Livestock, Wildlife, and Agricultural Users <br />Lack of water perpetuates the Poverty Trap <br />Closely linked to human welfare and health<br />Most costly for those that can least afford it (urban slums/remote villages)<br />Time and energy spent obtaining water impacts ability to pursue income or education <br />Poverty in Rural Africa<br />Poor households in the agricultural subsistence economy hit the hardest <br />1994 Tanzania Case Study: Limited water resources #1 cause of rural poverty<br />
  7. 7. Table 1: Distribution of Households by Access to Drinkable Water and Regions (1994)<br />
  8. 8. Case Study: "The Burden of Thirst" by Tina Rosenberg <br /><br />
  9. 9. Millions of African women spend their day collecting water<br />Aylito Binayo's Story <br />25 years old<br />Foro Village, Konso District, Southwestern Ethiopia<br />Ongoing drought – river is exhausted <br />Dropped out of school @ 8yrs. old to help her mother fetch water<br />Spends +8hrs/day fetching water <br />Steep, mountainous terrain <br />6 Gallon Jerry Can: 50 pounds of water on her back<br />Waits long hours in line for water<br />The water is dirty and unsafe to drink<br />"The Burden of Thirst" by Tina Rosenberg <br />
  10. 10. Konso Culture : Gender Roles <br />A lack of water is at the center of a vicious circle of inequality<br />Fetching water is always women’s work <br />Konso men only haul water during the few weeks following the birth of a baby<br />Young boys fetch water up to 7 or 8 yrs. old <br />Rule is enforced fiercely by men and women. <br />Binayo: "If the boys are older, people gossip that the woman is lazy”<br />A Konso woman’s reputation rests on her hard work<br />Binayo: "If I sit and stay at home and do nothing, nobody likes me. But if I run up and down to get water, they say I'm a clever woman and work hard."<br />Some Konso women come down to the river 5 times/day<br />1-2 trips devoted to getting water to make home brew for their husbands<br />Binayo makes journey 3 times/day and never questions it <br />Binayo’s View:<br />“When we are born, we know that we will have a hard life. It is the culture of Konso from a long time before us.” <br />
  11. 11. Sanitation Issues in Konso<br />Proper hand washing alone can cut diarrheal diseases by 45 %<br />Every drop counts when that water is carried up a mountain<br />Binayo makes do w/ 2.5 gals/day (Avg. American: +100 gals/day )<br />Washes her hands w/ water "maybe once a day”<br />She washes her own body only occasionally <br />Washes clothes once a year<br />"We don't even have enough water for drinking—how can we wash our clothes?" <br />2007 Survey:<br />No households in Konso District had water w/ soap near their latrines to wash their hands<br />Binayo's family recently dug a latrine but cannot afford to buy soap<br />Villager to Outreach Worker: “You tell me to use soap, then give me the money to buy it.”<br />
  12. 12. Health<br />Foro Village Health Clinic: 70% suffer from waterborne diseases<br />Diarrhea<br />Bacteria & Parasites : Lack of proper hygiene/sanitation <br />Drinking untreated river water<br />Konso District Health Center <br />~ Half of all patients suffer from waterborne diseases<br />Limited water resources <br />Runs out of water 4 months out of year<br />Relies on government to truck in river water <br />Not enough water for disinfection <br />Sanitation Issues in Konso<br />
  13. 13. Responses to the Water Crisis<br />Bringing clean water closer to people's homes is key<br />40% of households in Sub-Saharan Africa: >30 Minutes from nearest water source<br />Direct access to clean water transforms communities <br />Promotes Grassroots development <br />Allows more time to grow food, raise animals, seek education & generate income <br />Government<br />Water is commonly addressed at the District and Local Governmental levels in most of Africa<br />Lack the funds and technological expertise needed to provide wells<br />No political representation for rural villages <br />NGOs<br />Primary Implementers of Water Schemes<br />Tendency to breakdown after NGO moves-on <br />2007 Survey of Konso District: 9 out of 35 projects still functioning <br />Repairs not possible: Lack of money, or spare part to far away <br />Sustainability and Community involvement crucial <br />
  14. 14. Community-Based Projects <br />2003 University of Dar es Salaam Study<br />Small scale Projects: Most cost effective & easily managed <br />Sustainability ensured w/ “Demand-Driven & Community Participation” Approach<br />Prevents conflicts <br />Focus:<br />Community involvement in solving water problems is key<br />Project Initiation, Planning, Implementation, and Maintenance <br />Strengthening women’s participation in the planning & decision making <br />Village/User ownership emphasized <br />Empowers the poor <br />
  15. 15. WaterAid<br />UK-based international NGO <br />Mission: To transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene & sanitation in the world's poorest communities.<br />WaterAid in Konso District, Ethiopia<br /><ul><li> Installed RWH System at the District Health Center
  16. 16. Sand Dam Construction
  17. 17. Capture and filter water that would otherwise drain away
  18. 18. Methane capturing toilets for communal kitchen use </li></ul>WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) Community-Based Program<br /><ul><li> Involves local community in designing, building, & maintaining new water projects
  19. 19. 7 Person Committee- w/ mandatory minimum of 4 women
  20. 20. Works w/WaterAid to plan projects and involves the village in construction
  21. 21. Maintains and runs the project </li></li></ul><li> Foro Village Community Water Pump Project<br />Village work parties constructed trench and installed pipes <br />Each villager contributed a few cents to help fund project <br />Villagers own and control their own water supply <br />Water-Guard<br />1 capful purifies a jerry can <br />User Fees<br />One penny per jerry can<br />Key to sustaining project<br />Villagers initial resistance: “Water is a gift from God.”<br />1 penny/jerry can: Cheaper than time spent hauling water and lives lost to disease <br />WaterAid Survey<br />Latrine use up from 6% to 25 % (2007-2009) <br />
  22. 22. SODIS: Solar Water Disinfection <br /><ul><li> Simple procedure to disinfect drinking water
  23. 23. Contaminated water is filled in a transparent PET-bottle and exposed to the sun for 6 hrs.
  24. 24. UV-radiation kills diarrhea generating pathogens
  25. 25. Research has proven the SODIS method is both safe and effective
  26. 26. WHO, UNICEF, and Red Cross recommend the SODIS method as a way to treat drinking water in developing countries</li></ul>13 African Countries: Angola, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Cameroon, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe<br />~ 2 million Africans are currently using SODIS <br />
  27. 27. PlayPumps <br />• Invented in South Africa  <br /><ul><li>700 PlayPump systems installed in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia
  28. 28. Providing clean drinking water for +1 million people
  29. 29. 660-gallon storage tank • Pumps up to 370 gallons per hour • Reaches a depth of up to 330 feet • Recycles unused water • Installed near communities and schools
  30. 30. Use of billboards for social and public health messages
  31. 31. By 2011: Clean drinking water for 10 million people in 10 African countries</li></li></ul><li>Community Outreach: The Tip-Tap<br />
  32. 32. What Can You Do?<br />Join the Third Annual Water Walk for Women’s Rights<br />Sunday, April 11th @ 1pm<br />Cathedral of Learning in Oakland<br />For more info:<br />
  33. 33. 1). Discuss the link between a lack of direct access to an improved water source and poverty in rural Africa.<br /> 2). Provide an overview of the water crisis in Africa and briefly discuss some of the responses that have been implemented at the local level. <br />Essay Questions<br />
  34. 34. Works Cited<br />Gine, Ricard, and Agusti Perez-Foguet. "Sustainability Assessment of National Rural Water Supply Program in Tanzania." National Resources Forum 32 (2008): 327-42. Web. <br />Madulu, Ndalahwa F. "Linking Poverty Levels to Water Resource Use and Conflicts in Rural Tanzania." Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 28 (2003): 911-17. Web. <br />Rosenberg, Tina. "The Burden of Thirst." National Geographic Apr. 2010: 96-111. Web. <br />UNESCO. Web. 03 Apr. 2010. <>. <br />"Water Data for Africa." Medilinks Africa - The Gateway to Africa Health and Medical Information. Web. 03 Apr. 2010. <>. <br />