Chic African Culture Blog

Unclean Water Health Crisis

Unclean water in Africa is a crisis. The clean water shortage in Africa kills hundreds of people a day.


Africa is rich in freshwater: large lakes, big rivers, wetlands, and groundwater but only 4% of the continents available freshwater is currently being used.

Clean water shortage in Africa is not simple as water must be safe, easily reached and affordable; millions of people drink water that is not clean.


Safe clean drinking water in Africa is a major health crisis. The clean water shortage in Africa kills hundreds of people a day. For the most part, people in the USA can turn on a tap and have access to safe drinking water whenever they like, but the situation is very different in many parts of rural and urban areas of Africa.


Safe clean drinking water in Africa is a major health crisis.

The people of Africa face a number of issues in attaining increased access to clean water. These include an insufficient number of skilled personnel, effective institutions, water scarcity, and pollution.

The most common hindrance is the limited money and resources put towards water infrastructure. Sadly, there is not one single solution to ensuring everyone gains access to water in Africa.

“Inadequate financing is the single most important factor affecting the continent’s freshwater delivery abilities,” Peter Akari, chief water policy officer of the African Water Facility at the African Development Bank.

Due to a lack of water infrastructure in rural settlements, there may be a water pump or well in a village, but if it is not maintained, they quit working.

It is not enough to build a well or water pump in African communities, they must be maintained or the water becomes useless to the community. In rural Ethiopia, women and children can walk up to six hours to collect water.

According to Scripps, in South Africa, around 19% of the rural population lacks access to a reliable water supply and 66% have no basic sanitation services. In addition, over 26% of urban and rural schools and 45% of clinics, have no water access.

The public water utility, the Ghana Water Company, Ltd. had previously been able to provide water to about half of the country’s population of 20 million. Nevertheless, it started losing money for a variety of reasons, including unpaid bills and illegal connections.

As a result, it could not make any significant repairs or further extend the system and lost half of its water through leakages from old pipes.

According to Scripps, in South Africa, around 19% of the rural population lacks access to a reliable water supply and 66% have no basic sanitation services. In addition, over 26% of urban and rural schools and 45% of clinics, have no water access.

Ethiopia has one of Africa’s lowest rates of access to water supply and sanitation despite abundant surface and groundwater resources.

Out of Ethiopia’s 96 million people, 86.5 million people or 83% live in rural areas, that is 49 million people or 51% lack safe water and 76 million or 79% have no sanitation services. At most, 49% of people have access to safe water, while proper sanitation facilities are available to about 21%.

Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services negatively impact health and productivity, especially for children.

“There is not one single solution to ensuring everyone gains access to water,” says the UK charity WaterAid.

Ironically, Africa is rich in freshwater: large lakes, big rivers, wetlands, and groundwater but only 4% of the continents available freshwater is currently being used.


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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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