ProBUZZ‎ > ‎

November '10

Tuesday October 26, 2010

Water and Sanitation Issues in Developing Countries

Gary Pluim

Gary related how in 1994 on a trip to Senegal a driver took him into the desert where they eventually came upon an oasis.  A well had been drilled and the native people were able to 

Go To Print Edition

grow vegetables.  They were able to sell these vegetable and with the profits buy a pump and fill a reservoir.  This demonstrated to Gary the importance of water.

Some interesting facts related to water:

· In Canada on average we use 325 liters of water a day.  In Africa the comparable number is 15 – 20 liters a day.

· Throughout the world about 1 billion people don’t have access to clean water.  This is an improvement from 7 years ago when the number was 1.2 billion.

· 2.5 billion people or 1/3 of the world don’t have access to outhouses – this number hasn’t improved in the last 7 years.  In some countries the number is as high as 70% of the people not having access to outhouses.

· Every 15 seconds a child under the age of 5 dies of water related diseases.


People in Africa generally are happy.  The issue is lack of resources.



WaterCan trys to help with the resource issue.  They bring water and hygiene education to schools.  They do this by working through local partners because they understand their people and culture.

WaterCan funds projects.  They look at proposals to make sure they are well thought out and well put together.  They make use of simple technology.  It is important to consider water, sanitation and education as a total package.


Getting water is seen as women’s work so girls are late getting to school and this affects their education.  Thus it is important for people to be part of the solution.


In some place there are natural springs that have become contaminated.  Efforts are made to isolate these springs so they can be returned to a non-contaminated state.


In countries where school fees have been eliminated, enrollment has increased and then water and sanitation have become inadequate.

Go To Page 2