A Global Overview of Potable Water Resources Availability and Accessibility In Southern Africa

Maxwell C.C. Musingafi


This paper argues that there is sufficient freshwater in the world for everyone’s essential personal and domestic needs. However, lack of distribution networks and working systems to extract groundwater or harvest rainwater; exclusion from these services or facilities; inequitable allocation of water resources; and pollution, limit people’s access to sufficient clean water. In rural areas, many people collect water of dubious quality from unprotected wells, often a great distance from their homes, deterring them from collecting sufficient water. Toilets are often seen as unnecessary or unaffordable. In urban areas, low-income groups often lack access to adequate water supply and sanitation. Piped water supplies and sewers seldom cover informal areas. Water stress and scarcity are symptoms of sub-standard governance of public and natural resources. Lack of basic services is often because of mismanagement, corrupt and apathetic officials and financial limitations. Water shortages and increasing pollution are socially and politically induced challenges. The water crisis is increasingly about how we, as individuals, and as part of a collective society, govern the access to and control over water resources.

Key words: potable water, availability, accessibility, governance, corruption, mismanagement

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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