Finding Clean Water: A Rising Problem in Africa
Safe drinking water is becoming extremely difficult to find in many parts of the world such as Africa and South America. Nearly 66% of people who lack access to drinking water live on less than two dollars a day, while 33% live on less than one dollar a day. You would think with more than 3/4 of the world being covered in the substance, it wouldn’t be a problem.
But with populations growing, many problems are being brought to light; one of which is finding enough clean water to support the growing human population in relatively poor areas of the world. Water makes up the majority of the human body and helps the body keep its normal temperature, lubricates and cushions joints, protects the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and gets rid of waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements (CDC). Without the proper amount of water the human body could not function properly. The average human can survive an average of one week without water, whereas the body can survive without food for up to three weeks depending on body fat and climate. The lack of clean drinking water in many African villages is usually caused by humans. Poor health, hunger and a lack of education are symptoms of the true problem… not clean water.
Together they can lead to a cycle of poverty (The Water Project). For too many people dirty, diseased water leads to a cycle of sickness, lack of education, poverty and lost hope. To say the least, it is needless suffering. Some causes of the problem are lack of education, climate change, and fertilizer and pesticide runoff. The African people weren’t taught how to keep the water clean and after many years it built into the problem we face today.
Lack of safe drinking water can cause dehydration, hunger, poverty, disease, and lack of education for women. Because water is essentially the force that holds our bodies together, we cannot survive without it. Water experts in Southern Africa stated that many sewage treatment works are old. Most have been maintained poorly and overdue for rehabilitation (Tsiho). This shows that the tools are there, but the lack of knowledge of how to operate, maintain, and build proper foundations for clean accessible water are not in place. Kagolo from AllAfrica News states that in a recent study on the Nile River, it was found that the quality of the Nile River’s waters is becoming undrinkable because of feces and other waste that are put into the river.
The river provides water to nearly 11 Nile Basin countries, estimated at 437 million people. The solution to this problem is to educate the people of how to prevent the problem from getting this serious and out of hand. They need to know what to do with sewage and other waste so it doesn’t get to this point again. Statistics say that over 780 million people lack access to clean water and over 3.4 million people die each year from a water related disease (that’s almost larger than the city of Los Angeles) (water.
org). By giving the people the proper knowledge of what to do and how to maintain it, future generations will not have to face this problem. Educating the people on how to access and maintain clean drinking water is the foundation to prevent pollution, treat polluted waters, and restore waterways back to health (Palaniappan). In order for this solution to work, mission trips and outreach projects need to take place to the many rural villages in Africa. In order to learn how to prevent the water from becoming contaminated, they need to learn what to do and what not to do. By taking these trips to teach the people hands on, the people are more likely to understand and interpret how to access clean water.
From parched desert to tropical forest, roughly 40 percent of Africans, mostly the rural farmers, will not get access to clean water any time soon. This fact alone provokes poverty, hunger, and disease. Every year, dirty water kills an estimated 750,000 African children under the age of five Without acts of education and outreach to teach the people, all of the money and technology donated are no help because the people will not know how to use it. By continuously reaching out to the people and educating each generation about water, the probability of success is much higher. The U.
N. Environment Programme (UNEP) says 14 African countries currently experience water scarcity or stress, a number that will rise to 25 by 2025. The longer it takes to take action, the more costly and deadly the problem may become. The long term effects of such a simple effort such as education can leave a lasting imprint on obtaining clean drinking water for many years to come. In conclusion, finding water in many parts of Africa is becoming an even bigger problem than in past years. Plenty of money and resources are being donated by organizations like the UN and water.
org, but without an understanding of where to get clean water, how to prevent water from being contaminated, how to maintain and build water recycling and cleaning plants, and what information basic information is needed to do all these things the problem will only grow worse .Taking trips and excursions to the source of the problem will better enable the people to use their new found education on water and put it to good use. If the people know what to do and what not to do when it comes to water, they can ensure a safer future for generations to come. By taking the education to the people, those affected by contaminated and unsafe water will significantly reduce. Not only will safe drinking water be beneficial for the people who it affects immediately, but it will ultimately rid Africa of one of their major problems.