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WaterAid Shows Africa’s Growing Access to Water

The nonprofit organization WaterAid released a new interactive map revealing that 14 nations in Africa are scheduled to have clean drinking water by the year 2030. This map was released as part of Africa Water Week, which took place from May 26 to May 31, to promote the idea that the accessibility of clean water in developing countries should have a central role in the U.N.’s post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

Since its establishment on July 21, 1981, WaterAid has worked to address the serious health, sanitation and hygiene issues that currently exist in a number of countries. This organization also realizes that education and a change in both policies and practices are needed so that an increase in hygiene and sanitation practices can help reduce global poverty. For more than 30 years, WaterAid has provided more than 19 million people with both clean and safe water in multiple countries, and it was even honored with a Top-Rated Nonprofit Award in 2013.

WaterAid hopes that the release of this map will encourage the U.N. to include global access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030 in their list of Sustainable Development Goals. This new set of goals is expected to expand on the Millennium Development Goals, which will reach their deadline Dec. 31, 2015. Before this deadline, the General Assembly is scheduled to confirm the Sustainable Development Goals in September. According to Water.org, water-related diseases are the cause of approximately 3.4 million deaths each year, confirming that this is a major global issue that needs to be addressed.

This map produced by WaterAid serves two very important purposes because it offers evidence that this is not only a worthy cause, but that it is also realistic and attainable. According to the map, 65.2 percent of people in Sub-Saharan Africa had access to water as of 2013, meaning that approximately 45 million people need to gain access to water per year to reach the 2030 goal. Although this is certainly a large amount of people, only 1.4 percent of the 2030 population needs to gain access to water every year in order to reach this goal.

– Meghan Orner

Sources: UN, WaterAid, WaterAid 2, Water
Photo: SAB Miller