Water insecurity ranks as one of the world’s biggest problems. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa are among the most vulnerable. A recent global survey by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation suggests that about 490 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to safe water supply, mostly in cities.
Progress has been slow in Ghana in expanding access to water.
In Ghana, for example, over 6 million people (20% of the total population) lack access to safe water supply.
Academic and policy discussions about the failure to achieve water security tend to centre on four issues. These are rapid urbanisation, poor governance, payment for services and climate change. Read more
My health conscious friends and colleagues tell me that they need an alternative to soda but plain water is too boring. They, like many people, are turning to sparkling water and flavored seltzer water.
Many people make carbonated water at home and add their own flavors.
Carbonated waters are being promoted as the low-calorie or zero-calorie alternative to soda. In a 12-month period from August 2018 to August 2019, sales of sparkling water increased by 13% compared to the previous year. Read more
Different strategies for resisting the spread of the new coronavirus have emerged in different countries. But the one that has cut through everywhere is simple and, supposedly, can be done by anyone: “Wash your hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds.”
This advice takes plentiful safe water for granted, but in many parts of the world, clean fresh water isn’t guaranteed. Where it is, it may be in scarce supply. What will happen in such places if and when the pandemic escalates and the need for proper sanitation grows ever more urgent?
According to the World Health Organization, frequent and thorough hand washing can help reduce your chances of contracting infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Worldwide statistics for 2017 revealed that poor sanitation and limited access to hand-washing facilities contributed to around 1.5 million deaths. Nearly 2.2 billion people are currently living without safely managed water outlets, and around 22% of healthcare facilities in the least developed countries lack basic water services. Read more
Although it is difficult today to divert attention from the dramatic situation we live in, it is even more important to get closer to our primary needs. Recently, we celebrated World Water Day, and the timing couldn’t have been more appropriate to give to all of us the chance to rethink priorities and draw some lessons.
Without water, our lifespan would be 14 days. Our entire existence is closely dependent on one single, exhaustible resource. In a moment where we all feel vulnerable, and surprisingly dependent on more external systems than we imagined, life is reminding us of what makes us human, and where we should probably focus our attention. Read more
With less than 1% of the world’s freshwater readily available for human consumption and demand expected to increase by 40% by 2030, effective governance and management of freshwater supplies is one of the most fundamental public goods challenges of our time.
Yet recent headlines about devastating wildfires and water shortages facing Australia, deadly flooding in Jakarta, and Chennai joining Cape Town and other cities in the struggle to avoid ‘Day Zero’ serve as just the latest reminders of how difficult a task this is becoming. Read more