WATER PROBLEMS IN DEVELOPING WORLD 6
WaterProblems in Developing World
WaterProblems in Developing World
Waterhas always been touted as one of the most crucial commodities in theworld. Indeed, it has been well acknowledged that every other placecan be inhabited as long as there is a proper supply of water or ininstances where there is a way for obtaining the commodity. Inessence, the availability of a clean supply of water has a bearing onthe population density of a place and, consequently, the economicwell being of the same. Unfortunately, a large number of countriesacross the globe have been facing an increasing challenge of accessto clean and safe drinking water (Clansen et al, 2007). Indeed,statistics have shown that a higher number of people are losing theirlives on an annual basis as a result of the consumption of unsafedrinking water than as a result of a combination of all types ofviolence including war. On the same note, the statistics haveindicated that an estimated 5.7million people in Kenya are deficientof access to basic water services, while around 17-18 million peopleare deficient of fundamental sanitation services. Scholars note thatthere is a high likelihood for the figures to increase as a result ofa combination of factors including climate change, expansion ofindustries, as well as increasing population in almost every part ofthe country (Clansen et al, 2007). This necessitates that newtechniques for addressing the clean water challenge be devised notonly in the country but also in the global arena. This would, infact, have a bearing on the health status of individuals in theseregions in both the long-term and the short-term. There has beenconclusive evidence underlining the fact that simple, inexpensive andacceptable interventions at the community and household level havethe capacity to dramatically enhance the microbial quality ofhousehold water, as well as lower the attendant risks pertaining todeath and diarrhea. Essentially, a large number of varying watercollection and storage strategies and systems have been crafted,assessed and described based on different criteria for community andhousehold utilization in the developing and developed countries. Itis also noteworthy that varied chemical and physical treatmenttechniques to enhance the microbial quality of water are available, alarge number of which have been tested and implemented in differentmagnitudes in both developed and developing countries (Clansen etal, 2007). Two of the simplest and most effective ways of ensuringaccess to clean drinking water is water storage and treatment, aswell as digging boreholes.
Waterboreholes underline excellent techniques for accessing natural andpure underground water. Boreholes are minute, narrow and open shaftthat are drilled horizontally or vertically into the ground so as toallow for access to the water table underneath.
Onthe other hand, water tunkering revolves around the provision ofwater from particular sources of water to needy communitiesparticularly in instances where there is severe drought. This oftencomes off as a short-term solution for provision of livestock andhuman beings with water. Rather than having water tankers transportwater to certain areas, communities, individuals and humanitarianagencies often combine their efforts and build water tanks instrategic emergency water points, which can then be supplied withwater through tinkering. In some instances, communities scoop smallpans and enline them with thick layers of polythene sheets, whichwould then act as water reservoirs (Oxfam, 2014). The pans may befilled with water through rainwater harvesting, pumping from nearbywater bodies such as lakes and rivers or even tunkering. This oftencomes in handy in saving the lives of a large number of animals andhuman beings, as well as reducing the long distances that women wouldtravel in search of water for domestic use. Research has shown thatwomen in these arid parts of Kenya travel for long distances, oftenin the company or beasts of burden (donkeys) in search of water forlivestock consumption, human and domestic use (Oxfam, 2014). Thebuilding of these tanks undoubtedly comes as welcome reprieve for thepastoral communities living in these parts of Kenya.
Nevertheless,the two strategies come with distinctive advantages anddisadvantages. In the case of boreholes, it is noted that waterremains rich in minerals and free from micro organisms and addedchemicals in instances where the underground water is natural, pureand accumulated from rain. In addition, it is noteworthy thatborehole water is always available at any time of the day(http://www.62.co.za/water_boreholes.html).Boreholes also allow communities and households possessing them to beself-reliant, in which case they manage and determine the manner inwhich they use the water without any restrictions whatsoever from themunicipal water bodies (http://www.62.co.za/water_boreholes.html).
However,boreholes can be pretty expensive to put in place particularly ininstances where the water table is a bit too low. Indeed, it has beenwell acknowledged that the cost of digging boreholes is determined bythe depth of the borehole to be dug and the type of soil that is tobe encountered. In instances where the areas are rocky and the watertable is low, the cost of digging a borehole is bound to be immenselyhigh and beyond the reach of some communities or individuals. Inaddition, there exists no way of telling whether the water that is tobe derived from a particular well or borehole is going to bedetrimental to incorporate chemicals and micro organisms that can bedetrimental to the health of human beings and animals. This isparticularly in instances where such boreholes are dug in areas wheredumping or chemicals is unregulated.
Inthe case of water tankering, it is evident that such a strategyremains pretty unreliable particularly in areas that experience lowand unpredictable rainfall patterns. Indeed, it is well acknowledgedthat water tankering can be pretty unreliable in arid areas as is thecase for Kenya. It is considerably difficult for the water pointmanagement committees to keep replenishing the water pointsparticularly in instances where they are located far away fromnatural water points. In addition, it can be considerably expensiveto keep the water points replenished. In some instances, huge amountsof money have to be used in pumping water from the wells, rivers andother water bodies (Clansen et al, 2007). This can be considerablylimiting for African communities particularly in the arid areas ofKenya. There have been instances where the water points have been thesubject of ethnic clashes as different communities fight for controland access to the water points especially in the dry seasons. Thismakes it difficult for the water points to be properly managed in thelong-term.
ClansenT, Schmidt W, Rabie T, Roberts I, & Caincross S (2007).Interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrahoea: ASystematic Review and Meta-analysis. British.Medical Journal
Oxfam(2014). Ensuring Access to Water. Web retrieved fromhttp://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/lead/alive_toolkit/pages/pageE_Emergency_water.html
62Water (2014). Water Boreholes. Retrieved fromhttp://www.62.co.za/water_boreholes.html