By Fidel Amakye Owusu

1. The map below depicts the demand for water and its availability across the world by 2040.

2. It presents an interesting projection that puts some economically powerful states in the category of “High” and “Extremely High” stress on water availability relative to demand.

3. The United States, China, Australia, India and Italy are among states rated “High Stress”. Much of West Asia, Central Asia, North Africa and Spain fall under states with extremely high stress by 2040.

4. Other significant economies like Germany, Russia, Canada, Thailand and Switzerland are projected to have low to medium stress. Brazil, Denmark, Vietnam among others have better outlook with less than 10% demand to supply stress.

5. What’s the case of Africa?

6. Apart from northern Africa, Eritrea and four Southern African states( South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Lesotho) most states in Africa are projected to have low risk of water supply stress by 2040. The rest, including Mauritania, Sudan, Tanzania and Angola have low to medium risk.

7. Much of the middle belt South of the Sahara is expected to have low risk. With very high populated states like Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya in this category, this is positive for the continent.

8. Is this enough?

9. While the availability of water is important in determining access of the vital commodity to populations its being clean or portable is most essential. The infrastructure for water delivery and treatment is therefore critical to quality life.

10. In this respect, not enough has been done in the continent to ensure water access to populations. While the status quo is generally an improvement of decades-old worse situation, hundreds of millions of Africans are still “thirsty”. There is a huge scarcity of drinking water service.

11. According to the World Health Organisation over 400 million Africans lack “basic drinking water service”. This has ramifications for sanitation and basic hygiene as water is critical maintaining them—too bad.

12. For a continent that seeks to emerge from decades of underdevelopment and global neglect, and with an ever-burgeoning youthful population the provision of basic needs is a prerequisite.

13 While development partners of states in the continent including developed countries and aid agencies assist in reversing the challenge, African states must invest their own revenues in the provision of portable water to their populations.

14. By tackling corruption, embezzlement and mismanagement, funds could be channelled to the provision of this essential service that could aid in the transformation of the continent.

15. Water bodies should be protected against pollution as climate change gets tackled

16. Yesterday March 22 2023 was World Water Day.

17. What do you think?

Photo Credit: World Resources Institute via The Economist Intelligence Unit

By Fidel Amakye Owusu – International Relations and Security Analyst and Writer

Article Reproduced with Permission from Fidel Amakye Owusu

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