Fast Forward to 2030: What will water scarcity look like?
By Swikrity Chakraborty
There is nothing more essential to life on Earth than water yet we’re fighting the battle of global water crisis.What’s rather interesting to focus here is the two key trends that can lead to greater and sustained improvements in water management.
Africa’s water usage ( that is above the world average)
Africa’s average domestic water consumption is 237 litres a person a day, which is above the world average of 173 litres a person a day. One important observation is that 19 million residents currently rely on informal water sources such as boreholes and lakes or rivers.
The recent trend says that this figure is inflating as it also includes the water being wasted through leaks. If the country’s demand continues to grow at current levels along with a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario, the deficit between the water supply and demand would give rise to a gap of about 17% by 2030.
‘’ If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.’’
Regional progress, shifts, and cost
Though Africa is currently investing in water and sanitation infrastructure, it’s nowhere close to addressing the massive backlog of unmet demands. This dire situation will lead to a new reality: Water will become more expensive.
On the other hand, there is also a trend that works in different regions of Africa. 44% of water treatment is currently in a critical condition and 11% are totally dysfunctional. These staggering percentages have a big impact on water resources and human health showing the discharge of improperly treated wastewater into rivers.
Other key areas of concern:
· Municipalities lose 9.9 billion a year through leaks
· 3 million people do not have access to basic water supply
· Very few people are qualified in dam safety
· Water in rivers, dams, and lakes is getting polluted at an alarming rate
· 14 million people do not have basic sanitation facilities
“These diverging trends and key concerns serve as a warning to all of us and they are the reason why we have embarked on an ambitious journey of strengthening the water, sanitation and hygiene sector in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities in Africa. While we can’t predict the future, we can surely progress in the fight against water shortage – as well as closing the inequality gaps.”
Why does this cause mean so much to us?
Not having access to clean water leads to poverty for generations, children dropping out of school, and parents struggling to make a living. Women and children are worst affected as they often bear the burden of fetching water for their families.
Therefore, access to clean water becomes a stepping stone to the development and a means to practice good hygiene, sanitation, health, and more income.
PHAAE partners with UN, communities, and other organisations to achieve the goal of providing access to clean water, sanitation, handwashing facilities, and menstrual hygiene facilities and to promote hygiene and behavioural change specifically amongst vulnerable children, adolescents, and women.
Let’s restore our faith in the world and believe it is a fair place to live in.
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PHAAE is a registered non-profit organization in Nigeria that focuses on issues affecting women, adolescent girls and children in Africa.