Thursday, September 28, 2006

Huge spend urged on African water

Arica's water systems need annual investments of about $20bn over the next two decades, a United Nations report has concluded.

The African Development Bank (ADB) says that only 3.8% of the continent's water resources are developed.

About 300 million Africans lack access to safe drinking water, and the ADB says money also needs to be spent on irrigation and hydropower.

Full story BBC 20 March 2006.

Dirty water 'kills 1.5m children'

More than 1.5m children under five die each year because they lack access to safe water and proper sanitation, says the United Nations children's agency.

In a report, Unicef says that despite some successes, a billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water from protected sources.

More than 1.2 billion people have gained access to safe water since 1990.

But sub-Saharan Africa remains a major area of concern, especially countries affected by conflict.

A Unicef deputy-director, Vanessa Tobin, gave the example of Niger, where only 13% of the population has access to toilets of an acceptable standard, or better.

She said it "certainly is a contributing factor in the cholera outbreaks" in Niger.

Full story BBC 28 Sep 2006.