Water is a global fundamental human right. Although utilities in Africa generally underperform, there are relatively well-performing utilities operating in the continent. The top performing utilities in Africa do relatively well and are even able to achieve global benchmarks of operational and financial performance.
It has been found that good performance varies widely between countries, and within countries. This suggests that water is indeed a local service, and that local circumstances have a big impact on how well utilities perform, the World Bank reports.
In general, the provision of wastewater services is significantly more expensive than the provision of other water supply services. As the water crisis intensifies in South Africa, people must queue for hours to fill containers from water tanks. The country is facing a humanitarian crisis and its citizens have become accustomed to blocked drains, sewage pollution and the stench of waste. The floods that ravaged South Africa’s coastal city of Durban, left communities fearing diseases and queuing waiting for a full water truck to return.
What are the challenges of water poverty?
Lack of clean drinking water
Water is essential for better health in humans. When there is water shortage, people lack enough water to drink, thus affecting their lives and health.
Lack of opportunity
In arid areas, children abandon school and assist their parents in looking for water. During droughts, some children become very weak and cannot go to school.
When there is not enough water, farming is affected. Crops that grow on irrigations cannot grow when there is low or no water supply. As a result, there is less food for people.
Diseases and parasites
Poor hygiene makes communities more susceptible to infections and parasite attacks.
Lack of water makes cleaning of dishes, houses, clothes, and other household items very challenging.
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