Catastrophic Global Water Shortages Affecting Children Mostly —World Vision
Posted by feww on February 22, 2016
Six million people need clean water, sanitation aid: Ethiopian Government
Severe water shortages are putting millions of lives at risk and forcing mass migration as people search for water, says international humanitarian aid agency World Vision.
Life-threatening drought conditions persist globally, including in Central and South America, Southern and Eastern Africa and the Pacific Islands.
“In parts of Ethiopia and Somalia, water is in such short supply that villagers are abandoning their homes and migrating in search of water. Children are absent from school as they search for water or move with their families to find it,” says World Vision.
“Across Africa alone, at least seven million people are without clean water as a result of El Nino weather,” warns World Vision Ethiopia Country Director, who is also a water specialist. “The actual number of people suffering from acute water shortages is probably much higher,” he said. “We have heard a lot about the widespread food shortages, but water shortages caused by El Nino are just as catastrophic. A person can survive for much longer without food than they can without water,” he added.
“If El Nino isn’t causing drought, it is causing floods – either way, the result is unsafe water or no water… Not only can a lack of water kill, but contaminated water can kill just as quickly. Diarrhea, which is often caused by unclean water and sanitation, can kill small children very quickly. The result is that water shortages hit children harder than anyone else.”
- Zimbabwe. Water rationing is in effect in every city and town. 15, 000 boreholes have run dry and another 160 need to be drilled.
- Lesotho. Rains have been delayed by more than two months and some rivers have completely dried up. The Ministry of Health reports that a number of elderly people have died from dehydration as they were less able to cart water from water points.
- South Africa. Some 2.7 million households are facing water shortages – even hospitals are running out of water. Seven of the nine provinces have declared disasters and some have water rationing in place.
- Honduras. World Vision staff report that desperate communities are digging wells in an attempt to find water, children are falling ill with diarrhea from drinking dirty water and villagers queue in the middle of the night at waterholes due to demand.
- Papua New Guinea. Water supplies have been contaminated as people dig wells in order to find water and schools are also closing due to water shortages. An outbreak of typhoid and cholera in one area has killed at least 30 people.
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- One million children require treatment for severe acute malnutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa February 17, 2016
- ‘State of Disaster’ Declared in Zimbabwe over Drought February 8, 2016