Acid Rain

As there is so much pollution in the city, the gasses mix with the moisture in the atmosphere and end up as acid rain which is quite harmful.

Dry Land

Due to excessive deforestation, the lands have become dry, and the water content is getting reduced.

What Threatens africa

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Sanitation Issues in Africa

Poor sanitation – Africa’s greatest enemy

People from the first and second world countries don’t know the problems that poor sanitation can cause, and thus many would find the statement from the title wrong. We have advanced so much that we have forgotten how an inadequate sewerage system can affect people and the environment.
It’s a sad thing that more than fifty percent of Africans have to live without proper sewage systems that cause deaths and other illnesses. But not all people ignore the needs of Africa as some of us promote aid and programs that will improve the sanitation state on that continent to save people from a large number of illnesses whose cause is poor sanitation and water contamination.

Improvement of sanitation is a major step for Africa

Large-scale approach to this issue is impossible and thus small steps are required. African people have to realize that the sanitation is the fundamental right of every human and that poor sanitation leads to poor health. These two things should be the focus of every program that wants to help. Many Africans don’t see the connection between various illnesses and poor sanitation conditions and it’s our responsibility to teach them about that.

The next step is building of the toilets. A proper toilet isn’t expensive, and a charity funding can make thousands of these. But this type of investment would be a waste of resources without teaching the people to use them. Those people know how to use a toilet, but they have done that outdoors throughout their life, and this change will have an impact on their life. Programs should focus on education which would show those people that their way of doing things isn’t healthy and that they should accept this change.

Health and hygiene

Programs should teach people that health depends on the hygiene and that these two are closely connected. Construction of the proper toilets is one of the steps that should be taken, teaching people about the importance of the hygiene and proper waste disposal is another step. All of this should prevent diseases whose source is the direct and indirect contact with the human waste. It will also impede the contamination of the drinking water, which is a huge issue in Africa (especially in growing towns).

The education should start in schools, but it shouldn’t end there, it should happen on a community level as well. The sanitation will improve in Africa only when people realize that change is necessary for the safety of their children and the rest of their family.

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Water Issues in Africa

Concerning water issues in Africa

The water issue in Africa is nothing new; the continent has problems with drinkable water for a very long time. The biggest problem is the lack of progress on this issue. Just look at the WHO reports from various points in past and you will notice a slight change in the percentage of people who have access to clean water. This problem doesn’t end here due to lack of resources to maintain the purity of the present water. This is one big problem that keeps African people on the verge of death due to sickness and other medical conditions due to contaminated water.

The protection of water sources is the primary concern

The amount of clean and drinkable water sources is small, and they should be protected. The reality is that people either don’t know how to prevent the contamination or they don’t have enough resources for that prevention.

Investments that go into this issue help people to dig wells and to build sanitation facilities, but that is where the support ends. The lack of knowledge and resources prevents people from maintaining those facilities and preventing water from getting contaminated. Another issue is the mindset of the people who live in those settlements (small and medium towns). They are satisfied as long as the well provides, the quality of the water from the well isn’t relevant.

Groundwater is the best source of the drinkable and clear liquid in the Africa, and its contamination caused many deaths up to now. The bacteria can’t contaminate it and the only natural way of contamination of the groundwater is heavy metal, but one test can rule that out. The greatest contaminators of the groundwater are the people, or to be more precise sewer systems that aren’t built properly.

Contaminated water is a synonym for death

Africans drink water filled with contaminants without realizing it. Some don’t believe in the connection between various medical conditions and contaminated water and therefore they drink it as well. Raising the awareness is something that should become the focus of the organizations that offer help in Africa. The people should realize the importance of the clean water and the maintenance of the same. People have to understand that contamination causes death, among many other issues, and that they should protect their water sources from contamination. Only then the water issue in Africa will improve.

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Acid Mine Water Poses Serious Threat in Africa

Acid Mine Water

Companies owning big factories have a lot to answer for when it comes to pollution. They pollute the atmosphere, rivers and oceans; causes oil spillage in the sea killing millions of creatures and their habitat, and poses many other environmental threats.

In Africa, one such problem brought by mining companies is acid mine water or acid mine drainage (AMD).

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Coca-Cola’s $35 Million Dollar Pledge and RAIN’s Flawed Strategy

coca cola pledge

Africa is slowly rising on its feet through the continued effort of different organizations around the globe. The recent conclusion of the 7th World Water Forum conducted in South Korea has further strengthened the Millennium Development goal that was established back in 2000 following the Millennium Summit of the United Nation.

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Africa’s Water Struggle: Small People, Big Help

It is still an ongoing battle for Africa and the philanthropists involved with the country’s struggle in providing clean and accessible water for the masses. Water has always been an issue in Africa. In first world or developing countries, a simple twist of a faucet will provide clean water. In Africa, people fall in line to get their water supply replenish from water pumps. And they do this almost, if not, every day.

Making a Difference

While there are a lot of large organizations and powerful individuals that has made it their mission to give a helping hand to the people of Africa, there are also the little guys who also make a big difference.

Last month, civil and environmental engineering students, both graduate and undergraduate, had traveled to Kenya and Uganda as a class trip. During their visit they have applied what they’ve learned to provide aid with regards to water and sanitation.

Their stay helped them identify the needs and struggles of the community, and providing what help they can offer. They’ve visited clinics, as well as tested the sanitation of water in wells and other large sources of water.

Led by environmental and civil engineering professor Benito Marinas, he felt that having the students experience Africa’s water and sanitation problems firsthand may developed their skills that cannot be taught in the classroom. Also, having the opportunity to interact with the community is also vital for future recommendations and finding faster solutions as the people can provide other information about their current water and sanitation issues.

And the professor was right, as voiced by Gabrielle Levato, an Engineering senior. The senior stated that she really got to apply the knowledge she learned in class. “Being able to visit the homes of the people we are designing for is extremely beneficial to our future design and what we recommend in the end,” she added.

One of the places that had been visited by these students was Oruchinga. Throughout their stay they’ve discovered that the refugees in this area were using collapsed latrines due to the low quality of soil. They’ve also gone to the Nakuru Deflouridation Company and took water samples from Lake Baringo to be analyze.

The Long Term Effect

Professor Marinas’ field trip is a valuable aid for Africa’s communities and the students alike. As these students graduate and eventually join other engineers in their respective field, they’ll have more experienced with regards to helping a communities – third or first world countries alike – overcome difficulty in water and sanitation dilemmas.

This trip is also vital in encouraging the philanthropic side of the students, nurturing their love for the country and the African people, and hopefully continues on what they’ve started.

Marinas stated that the students still continues to cooperate with the Uganda Rural Community Support Foundation, as well as the Safe Global Water Institute.

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Solving Africa’s Water and Sanitation Issues

sanitation issues

One of the major issues that Africa face and is currently battling is the lack of clean water supply and sanitation. This huge disadvantage has made thousands upon thousands of African lives much more arduous.

In the current state of affairs, the African Union has officially launch the Kigali Action Plan – a 50 million euro agreement that will aid millions of Africans in accessing clean water and better sanitation.

This plan involves ten countries: Madagascar, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Lesotho, Mauritania, Burundi, Chad, and Central African Republic.

The objective of the program, which is spearheaded by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and was agreed with the African Development Bank, is to make a huge impact on the clean water supply and sanitation on the country.
It’s been noted that Rwanda has made a lot of progress in the last 23 years. According to WHO and UNICEF data, the central and east African state has been improving since 1990 where records show that only 30% of its population has access to basic toilets and 60% to sanitary water. In year 2013, the number has increase to 60% on basic toilets and 71% to clean water.

Other Aid

But it’s not just organizations that have been busy helping Africa with this particular issue. Bill gates, a known philanthropist who has given a lot of aid for the country, also has some new innovation that will further help with Africa’s water and sanitation problems.

He and his foundation wanted a new way of approaching this issue, and so turned to aerospace engineers at Janicki Industries located in Sedro Woolley.

The result is the Omniprocessor, a machine develop to turn human waste into electricity and clean water. This machine takes about five minutes to turn feces into clean, drinking water.

After testing the machine in sewer sludge, and Bill Gates himself drinking the product freshly poured out the machine, the Omniprocessor is heading to West Africa.

The CEO of Janicki Bioenergy, Perter Janicki said that the water produce by the machine is completely safe and promises it would not fall to its other predecessors that had been an encouraging solution to sanitation but has failed as time passed.

Ebola versus Sanitation

These huge developments that are being implemented in Africa are crucial in making the country safer to live in. The Ebola virus which has ravaged the African people leaving 7 out of 10 – or more – people dead when infected is one of the primary problems that clean water can help eradicate.

Clean water is essential in decontaminating sterile areas where the virus’ victims are being treated, as well as health workers that come in contact with those infected. Also, chemical solutions needs clean water to be mix into in order to disinfect equipment being used.

So it goes without saying that the effort being implemented in giving Africa better sanitation and clean, accessible water is vital in the country’s progress; progress that have been hampered by various problems it’s currently facing.

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