Water storage essential for Africa’s future

The average annual rainfall across the continent is around 800mm a year. Conditions vary from country to country – and within countries. But it is not necessarily the amount of rainfall a country receives that is of most importance. What is essential for a country’s growth and prosperity is that it has a predictable water supply.

According to Mike Muller, visiting professor at the Graduate School of Public and Development Management at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, without dams to store sufficient water and within an economy that is more diverse than rain-dependent agriculture, “Africa is the continent most vulnerable to the economic impact of drought.”

Ironically, says Muller in a podcast produced by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), one of the obstacles preventing African countries from building the necessary infrastructure for water storage is the environmental lobby in the West.

Muller says there has been a “decade-long drought of funding for infrastructure investment in Africa, despite the acknowledged need to expand irrigation and achieve greater water security”. He cites examples from Zambia and Ethiopia, both of which he says, sought money to build dams to generate hydropower and to produce water for irrigation, but both were refused by international agencies, including the World Bank.

Read the complete article on allafrica.com

Photo: Zisize Educational Trust, Kwazulu Natal

Laat wat van je horen

*