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Africa water initiative

More than a billion people lack adequate access to clean water

David Suzuki

Photo by Water Mission

Several NGOs carry out projects worldwide. They appear to play a significant role in natural disaster mitigation. They all work to support poorer and marginalized groups in society. They are all committed towards socio-economically weaker part of society thereby providing opportunities for them to overcome poverty.

This post will focus on Africa Water Initiative.

This NGO, has committed to provide clean water for drinking irrigation and health sanitation to our remote rural areas and slums in Africa.

Following Africa Water Initiative on Twitter, it is clear the message of hope and compassion they want to spread by providing clean water to vulnerable in the community.

Their team of volunteers works tirelessly through advocacy and outreach activities, to provide the basic human need. We are all aware that no one should lack this need.

Finding water is a big daily challenge for women, girls and sons. All this, ends up with a long list of negative consequences for the community such as: girls dropping out of school; women cannot be involved in any worthy economical activity thus, the chain of the poverty keeps on recurring; lack of irrigation prevents community development; Moreover, the pond water they have access to is contaminated hence, this is a clear source of diseases for their families. Some have been wiped by outbreak of cholera and related diseases.

AFrica Water Initiative Official Logo
Africa Water Initiative Official Logo

Statistics do not lie. It is proved that 1 in 3 people on the planet do not have a decent toilet. 1 in 9 do not have clear water close to home. According to World Health Organization:

Some 3 in 10 people worldwide, or 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home, and 6 in 10, or 4.5 billion, lack safely managed sanitation, according to a new report by WHO and UNICEF


“Safe water, sanitation and hygiene at home should not be a privilege of only those who are rich or live in urban centres. These are some of the most basic requirements for human health, and all countries have a responsibility to ensure that everyone can access them.”

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General

Africa Water initiative explains that a huge number of individuals in Africa, walk miles to look for any water available. This costs energy consuming and this means they do not have any energy left to do something else during the day. The container used to transport water collection is the jerry can and it weighs over 40 pounds when completely full. This is the activity they are committed to and this is the reason why the chain of poverty keeps on recurring.

The lack of clean water is an obstacle for several reasons. People can’t grow food or build housing, they cannot stay healthy and go to school or keep working.

The main sources of water are usually streams and lakes. However, that water is generally contaminated. Contaminated water is directly linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. According to World Health Organization under water and health section:

“Some 842 000 people are estimated to die each year from diarrhoea as a result of unsafe drinking-water, sanitation and hand hygiene. But diarrhoea is largely preventable, and the deaths of 361 000 children aged under 5 each year could be avoided each year if these risk factors were addressed. Where water is not readily available, people may decide handwashing is not a priority, thereby adding to the likelihood of diarrhoea and other diseases.
Diarrhoea is the most widely known disease linked to contaminated food and water but there are other hazards. Almost 240 million people are affected by schistosomiasis – an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms contracted through exposure to infested water”

by World Health Organization

Parents are faced with the dilemma to choose between dehydration or consuming the contaminated water. The painful decision which they have to make also for their young ones.

Africa Water Initiative : Their aims…

  • Quenching African’s Thirst
  • To provide clean drinking water. Through the introduction of less costly water cleaning technologies.
  • To facilitate the Water education on water harvesting and preservation. To the communities hit by water shortages.
  • To facilitate the integration of water use to community development especially in irrigation. For poverty eradication.
  • To be a strong advocate for environmental protection more so water catchment areas.
  • To promote the increase of forest cover, by investing in tree planting.
  • To facilitate water projects in the building of dams, wells, drilling boreholes, connecting communities with piped water.
  • To champion the adoption of new farming technologies which use less water. Increase food sufficiency level.

You can follow the NGO on Twitter and keep an eye on their next initiatives.

Simone Santarelli

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