I’ve been in Nigeria and Kenya during the rainy season and was surprised that it didn’t rain that much. “It’s not like it used to be – it’s not a rainy season any longer…” Transpose this comment onto your own country. Doesn’t it sound familiar? I think we all can feel that yes, the climate is changing.
The COP21 Conference has made climate change a trending topic at present. Africa is very vulnerable to climate change. The most important consequences for African people relate to water. Some facts reported by The Water Project:
- 290 million people do not have access to clean and safe water in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- The average container for water collection in Africa weighs over 40 lbs when full.
- Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water – equivalent to an entire year’s labor in all of France.
Global warming will increase water scarcity. This will increase the cost of food and other products that depend on it. Even worse, access to water may be the biggest cause of conflict and war in Africa in the next 25 years according to a report by the United Nations cited at Know Climate Change. Countries that share rivers or lakes are more likely to engage in such wars. Large companies that try to control water should be aware that this may become a major source of conflict, and act accordingly.
We need to make more responsible use of this vital, scarce resource.
Let’s not forget that drinking water is an essential resource – obvious as it may sound. And still, we keep wasting it. Educational efforts are needed so that we all become aware of the seriousness of such behavior in a context of unequal access to such a basic and universal human right.