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'Reminder of need for global action' - Water Aid

Water Aid

After recent media reports about Cape Town having just '100 days left with water', we contacted Water Aid to see what measures were in place to prevent this from happening. We also threw the question 'What can other countries, cities or towns do to prevent this from happening to them?' . Clearly this is set to be one of the biggest problems the future holds.

Their response was the following:

'WaterAid doesn’t work programmatically in South Africa however we do work across the southern Africa region in countries which have also been affected by drought including Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia and where many people are living without access to clean water. Please see more info in the release below'.

Cape Town water scarcity a stark reminder of need for global action

As South Africa’s Cape Town faces the possibility that it could run out of water, international development charity WaterAid has highlighted that many people are experiencing severe water shortages in other cities because they are not connected up to a reliable supply.

With 844 million people around the world without clean water close to home, WaterAid urged political leaders to prioritise reaching the world’s poorest people, and argued that effective management and financing are the key ingredients in tackling the water crisis.

For example, in 2017 authorities in neighbouring Mozambique took precautions to ensure residents in drought-stricken Maputo were only using water for basic essentials such as drinking and cooking after dam levels reached just 20 per cent of their normal levels. In Kenya, two years of failed rains have left over 3 million Kenyans in need of food aid and 480,000 children needing treatment for acute malnutrition. Last year in India, Kerala and Tamil Nadu faced an unprecedented drought - the worst in over a century - and Karnataka’s northern districts went without water for a third consecutive year.

The comment comes after the government in Cape Town warned that “Day Zero” - the day the world-famous tourist destination will run out of water – could come as soon as April.

The city has introduced a limit of 50 litres per day per person for the next 150 days (a third of the average daily consumption of water in the UK).

Climate change is expected to make an already difficult situation worse for those living without access to clean water, with 40% of the global population predicted to be living in water-stressed areas by 2050. It is critical that in managing limited water supplies, governments prioritise basic household uses including drinking, cooking, washing and subsistence gardening, and finance water systems accordingly.

WaterAid senior water and sanitation manager Vincent Casey said:

“This is a terrible situation that Cape Townians are now facing. Water shortages are a daily reality for many poor and marginalised people living in cities across Sub-Saharan Africa because insufficient investment has gone into getting reliable services in place.

“However, change can happen. While we often hear that new technologies are the key to tackling the growing water crisis, what is more important is how water supplies are organised. Too often governments fail to make a reliable water supply a priority, or do not properly manage competing demands. Existing water infrastructure might be suffering from a lack of investment or proper staffing. This is primarily a concern of governments, with support from private sector companies.

“While technical innovations make a contribution, now more than ever governments must make bringing clean water to the most vulnerable and marginalised a top political and financial priority, if we are to reach everyone with water by 2030.”

What will this mean for future generations to come?

Which will be the second Metropolis to exhaust it's clean water reserves?

How do we stop this?

The human race is using more resources than its creating... Think about the resources you use, the amount of them you use and try to limit it. There's only one planet and its our job to preserve it.

- Curtis Hinton

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