World Water Day Report: African Cities Outgrow Their Water Supplies

A limited supply of freshwater could threaten fast economic and population growth for Africa’s cities. Water, so crucial for survival, is taken for granted by many, and March 22 is set aside to mark World Water Day. According to a United Nations assessment, 40 percent of Africa’s 1 billion people live in urban areas with inadequate water supplies and sanitation, reports Environment News Service. Droughts and contamination exacerbate water shortages, and unclean water irrigating fields can contaminate crops. The poor largely suffer the consequences. While acknowledging the private sector’s role in delivery of safe water supplies, the UN report warns that a market-based approach is not sustainable for large urban populations. Currently, the UN and local water regulators promote rain collection, infrastructure improvements and conservation measures. Protecting ecosystems – including wetlands and forests, the filtering systems of nature – is more effective in terms of costs and quality than constructing water-purification plants. – YaleGlobal

World Water Day Report: African Cities Outgrow Their Water Supplies

The UN urges protecting ecosystems as paramount for water security in fast-growing urban Africa
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2011. All rights reserved.

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