UNESCO, WaterAid Release Reports Warning Water Supplies Running Low In Some Cities, Poor People Worldwide Feel Greatest Impacts

Bloomberg: Africa’s Booming Cities Are Running Out of Water
“…Cities and towns in several … African nations including [Ghana,] Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Ivory Coast have been plagued by … water shortages in recent months, manifestations of a global supply squeeze brought on by drought, population growth, urbanization, and insufficient investment in dams and other infrastructure. Water use has risen about 1 percent a year since the 1980s and more than 2 billion people now live in countries experiencing high water stress, the United Nations said in its World Water Development Report released in Geneva on Tuesday. It projects demand will grow as much as 30 percent by 2050…” (Dontoh/Cohen, 3/18).

Deutsche Welle: World’s poor pay more for water than the rich: U.N.
“The U.N. released its annual World Water Development Report on Tuesday, which highlighted that some 2.1 billion people do not currently have access to clean and continuously available drinking water. An even larger number, 4.3 billion, do not have access to safe sanitation facilities. ‘Improved water resources management and access to safe water and sanitation for all is essential for eradicating poverty, building peaceful and prosperous societies, and ensuring that “no one is left behind” on the road towards sustainable development,’ said the 2019 UNESCO report, titled ‘Leaving No One Behind’…” (3/19).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Poor people’s right to water cut off by thirsty exports, unequal supply
“…Exports of crops — like coffee, rice, avocados, and cotton — are important sources of income for many countries. But large amounts of water are used to produce them, even as poor communities struggle to get enough for their basic needs, a situation made worse by climate change, WaterAid said in the report published on Tuesday. The world must ensure ‘the push for economic development through exports of food and clothing does not imperil current and future generations’ access to water,’ said WaterAid U.K. Chief Executive Tim Wainwright ahead of World Water Day on March 22…” (Rowling, 3/18).

VOA News: U.N. Report Finds Billions Still Lack Access to Water, Sanitation
“…The latest U.N. World Water Development Report finds myriad groups, including women and sometimes the elderly, can be excluded from what many of us consider basic services. Most have one thing in common: poverty. ‘Water has not been given the priority in terms of development policy that it should be,’ said Richard Connor, the report’s editor-in-chief. ‘If you look at electrification for instance, energy is seen as big business, something controlled by the private sector. Unfortunately, a lot of government leaders, they’re thinking taps and toilets, and they’re not seeing the truer, broader picture,’ Connor said…” (Bryant, 3/18).

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