The Africa Water Crisis Can Be Solved

More than 1.4 billion people live on the continent of Africa, which is about 16 percent of the world’s population. It’s estimated that one in three people in Africa experience the effects of water scarcity.[1] Population growth, urbanization and industrialization are all contributing to the Africa water crisis, and it is on its way to catastrophe.

“There’s only so many ways we can say ‘time is running out’ and only so many analogies to indicate how serious the situation will soon be if we don’t see critical action from world leaders now,” reported Global Citizen, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing issues like water scarcity to the forefront, including the water crisis in Africa.[2]

The World Health Organization closely monitors world water crisis and accessibility throughout the globe, as one country’s usage can affect another’s.

“By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. Re-use of wastewater, to recover water, nutrients, or energy, is becoming an important strategy,” reports the WHO. “Increasingly countries are using wastewater for irrigation – in developing countries this represents 7% of irrigated land. While this practice if done inappropriately poses health risks, safe management of wastewater can yield multiple benefits, including increased food production.”[3]

This means that waste water treatment for safe usage will continue to increase with time. Rural areas and those without the needed infrastructure will need solutions for safe water. When there is a water source in the midst of scarcity, a family might try to store the water in their home, and if it not done properly, this can lead to water-borne illnesses and illnesses that result from increased insect breeding.

Global water crisis facts from the WHO tell us the following:

  • In 2015, 91 percent of the worldwide population had access to an improved drinking-water source, compared with 76 percent in 1990.
  • 2.6 billion people have gained access to an improved drinking-water source since 1990.
  • 4.2 billion people now get water through a piped connection; 2.4 billion access water through other improved sources including public taps, protected wells and boreholes.
  • 663 million people rely on unimproved sources, including 159 million dependent on surface water.[4]

But what does the Africa water crisis look like for the family living in sub-Saharan Africa, who must walk many miles for daily water needs? Or for the family that has an open water source but fights illness from contamination?


Aanjay and his family were one such family who understood how vital it is to their family to have clean water.[5]

“I barely remember a single week or month passing by for us without visiting a doctor and spending our minimal income for medicine,” Aanjay said. “I and my family were … often exposed to waterborne and water-caused disease, because we were forced to use dirty and filthy water for cooking and drinking which was contaminated from an open well.”

His story is not uncommon. The more a family is forced to spend on medical bills, the less money there is for food and other necessities. Likewise, when the adults miss work due to illness, less money is also available, compounding their situation.

“We were compelled to use an open pond, river or well water for bathing. Due to bathing in filthy water, skin infections occurred on our bodies. Other families, too, were suffering badly due to the use of contaminated and dirty water. My whole village will assert this truth,” Aanjay said.

Then a GFA World pastor visited his area and introduced him and the entire village to BioSand Filters, an affordable and sustainable way to provide clean water to those who do not live in an area with the infrastructure for running water.

“Now the villagers are getting purely filtered water for drinking,” Aanjay gladly reported. “Since [BioSand water filters] were installed, all water-caused and water-borne diseases have ceased, and families got remedy from unnecessary medical expenses.”

Not only did the GFA pastor bring the physical benefits of the filters, but he also brought the love and truth of Jesus Christ to the whole village, giving them peace and hope. One simple solution plus the powerful truth of God’s love can change entire villages.

Sponsor a BioSand Filter today for just $30, and you can change the life of a family or a community. It will filter out 98 percent of contaminants and last for 20 years if properly cared for. This is the gift of health, time, security and more. And you can know that you are sending it through the loving hands of a GFA missionary, who knows and understands the people he or she serves and wants to bring them the truth of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

The Africa water crisis can be solved through interventions such as the BioSand Filter. Join GFA today and help us change the lives of people who need the gift of clean water.

Learn more about access to clean water

[1] “Water Overview.” World Health Organization. https://www.afro.who.int/health-topics/water. Accessed November 19, 2022.
[2] Mlaba, Khanyi. “Water Scarcity in Africa: Everything You Need to Know.” Global Citizen. https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/water-scarcity-in-africa-explainer-what-to-know. February 1, 2022.
[3] “Water Overview.” World Health Organization. https://www.afro.who.int/health-topics/water. Accessed November 19, 2022.
[4] Ibid.
[5] “What Filter Are Making an Incredible Difference.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/water-filters-are-making-an-incredible-difference. March 2016.
* Cover Photo: “Digging for drinking water in a dry riverbed.” UK Department for International Development. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dfid/6220146368. September 29, 2011.