Water Crisis in Africa: Why is There So Little Clean Water in Africa?

August 23, 2021

The current water crisis in Africa stems from lack of access to clean, sanitary water, particularly in the sub-Saharan region. Unfortunately, millions of people in Africa spend up to six hours every single day collecting unsafe water from lakes, rivers, and ponds, causing them to become infected with waterborne illnesses that either result in death or make them too sick to work or pursue an education. Even just spending all that time obtaining water exposes people to highly dangerous weather conditions and steals valuable time they could be using to work or pursue an education. This in turn leads to the extreme poverty that exists throughout Africa. So, what exactly is causing the water problem in Africa?

Factors Causing Water Issues in Africa

The physical lack of clean water in the natural environment. This affects countries in northern and southern Africa the most. For example, of the 980 large dams in sub-Saharan Africa, around 589 are located in South Africa. However, only two are located in Tanzania, a country of similar landmass and population, greatly impacting the country’s water scarcity.

The lack of economic means to provide access to clean water to Africa. In this situation, the country or region lacks the ability to invest or repair water infrastructure to provide sanitary water for the community, even in areas where freshwater is abundantly available. This is especially unfortunate in cities and regions where the population is growing; therefore, the demand for clean water keeps increasing.

Social relations between different groups of people. For example, some people struggle to access clean water in Africa because they have no or low income, live in a poor neighborhood, are refugees, women, or because the majority of the people in that community belong to a particular political party, etc.

Natural disasters such as floods and drought. Floods contaminate drinking water and destroy hygiene and wastewater systems, whereas droughts create food insecurity that leads to malnutrition and denies communities water supplies. Also, in sub-Saharan Africa, 66% of people—i.e., 300 million—live in areas with little to no rainfall, which greatly negatively impacts agriculture.

Arctic Blue Waters Alaska, Inc., supplies large quantities of Glacier-fed bulk water from regions of abundance to countries of the world where the drinking water has become depleted and polluted. 



Posted on 8th December 2015 .