Critical Water Issues in Africa

Wandiga SO. Critical Water Issues in Africa. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society; 2015.


Water scarcity, purity and delivery have become major challenges of humanity especially in Africa. Globally 748 million and in Africa 325 million people lack access to safe water. Water diseases kill 842,000 people annually. The majority of those who lack water live in rural areas. Africa is second to Australia in dryness but is home to 15% of global human population and has only nine percent of global renewable water resources. Most of Africa’s surface water has become polluted by human activities and its wells are becoming dry. Impacts of climate change and climate variability are making water scarcity more stressful.

Technologies used for water harnessing are outmoded and inefficient. Africa needs to modernize its water purification technology; it requires adopting new methods like roof, pavement and urban water catchment to recharge its declining ground water level. Provision of safe drinking water policy need to change from piped water to every home to supply of point of use technologies at every home. There exist some potential new technologies that still require further research. The chapter highlights some recent development of nanoscience materials in water treatment that give promise to future trends. Similarly, small scale water harnessing technologies are outlined for ground water recharge and drinking water

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