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Where every drop counts: tackling rural Africa’s water crisis

Jamie Skinner

Briefing, 4 pages

In rural Africa, ‘water poverty’ can destroy lives and livelihoods. Children under the age of five are especially susceptible to waterborne diseases. While a broken waterpipe in London may be a temporary inconvenience, a failed well in sub-Saharan Africa is potentially catastrophic. And this is a catastrophe that is spreading across the continent, where an estimated 50,000 water supply points have effectively died. The root cause is the water community’s failure to plan for
maintenance of the infrastructure in a systematic way, creating a massive drag on meeting the Millennium Development Goal target on water and sanitation.

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