Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Water scarcity makes countries in Africa especially likely to come into conflict with each other, the UN has warned.

The latest World Water Development Report says that 19 of the 22 African countries it studied suffer from water scarcity.

“This water scarcity can increase the risk of conflict,” the report published by Unesco said.

A dispute between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the impact a giant damn might have on freshwater supply is an example of this.

Most of sub-Saharan Africa suffers from economic water scarcity, the report’s chief editor Richard Connor.

“And that is characterised not by the relative level of availability of water resources, but by the lack of appropriate infrastructure, as well as inadequate management and insufficient economic resources and incentives.

“Population growth, rapid urbanization, economic development, and changing lifestyles and consumption patterns are increasing water demand throughout sub-Saharan Africa.”

The report highlighted droughts as one of the main causes of water scarcity in many parts of the world, including in Africa.

It also said climate change will increase the frequency and severity of droughts.

A 2022 report by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification said drought affected Africa more than any other continent, with more than 300 events recorded in the past 100 years, accounting for 44% of the global total.

Two-thirds of Africa’s freshwater resources cross borders.

But cooperation between countries has been lacking, the latest UN report has pointed out.

“Of the 106 transboundary aquifers [a body of porous rock or sediment saturated with groundwater] mapped in Africa, interstate cooperation has only been formalised in seven.”

By Joy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *