Clean Water

Why Does Africa Not Have Access to Clean Water?

The question “why does Africa not have access to clean water?” is a good one, especially considering there is a significant amount of drinking water in Africa—up to 9 percent of the world’s sources.[1] This is primarily from Africa’s two biggest rivers: the Nile and the Congo. However, only 10 percent of Africa’s population lives in the Congo valley, and that is the largest source of water on the continent, making up about 30 percent of its water reserves. Africa is primarily rural, and water is not as readily available as in urban areas. Women and girls are usually responsible for walking long distances to fetch water. So, the distribution of water in Africa is clearly a problem. Further, the climate is extremely dry and growing drier. Africa is already primarily classified as a desert, and in some areas, the incidence of rainfall has decreased by 25 percent.[2]

Africa’s water crisis is perhaps best illustrated in the landlocked country Burkina Faso. Located in the savannas south of the Sahara, the small country can experience eight months of dry weather each year.[3] Nearly half the residents of Burkina Faso live without clean water, so waterborne illnesses like diarrhea, hepatitis A and typhoid fever run rampant.[4] According to Water Aid UK, 4,500 children under 5-years-old die of diarrhea each year in Burkina Faso.[5] Though there have been efforts to help the country, these haven’t always been effective. Some existing wells have broken handpumps, and toilets provided to improve hygiene have gone unused because the people didn’t know what to do with them, highlighting the need for education as well as water and sanitation services to solve the global crisis.[6]

Not all these problems can be solved with outside help—or at all—but the impacts of the water crisis can be lessened. GFA World has recently begun working in Africa, setting up a continental headquarters in Rwanda, where two Jesus Wells have already been installed, and plans for more wells are underway. A single well can serve up to 300 people each day and last as long as 20 years. As GFA’s ministry spreads in Africa, the organization plans to reach Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan in the next few years.[7]

GFA World is also educating people on the importance of hygiene to prevent illness, not just providing such facilities. GFA’s Jesus Wells provide water for whole communities, opening doors to share the love of Jesus with people in need. Join GFA World in this effort to combat the water crisis in Africa and Asia.

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[1] “Blog: 4 Reasons Why People in Africa Suffer from a Lack of Clean Water.” Hydrotech. Accessed November 18, 2022.
[2] Ibid.
[3] The World Factbook: Africa: Burkina Faso. Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed November 18, 2022.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Andrew McConnell. Water is precious in landlocked Burkina Faso, West Africa. Water Aid UK. Accessed November 18, 2022.
[6] Andrew McConnell. Water is precious in landlocked Burkina Faso, West Africa. Water Aid UK. Accessed November 18, 2022.
[7] “GFA World Expands Ministry to Africa.” GFA World. Accessed November 18, 2022.