“Africa is facing a water catastrophe,” UNICEF Director of Programs Sanjay Wijesekera said in a statement Monday.
A new UNICEF report says 190 million children in 10 African countries are “at the highest risk” from three water-related threats and climate hazards.
The three threats, known collectively as WASH, are: inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Many children in the affected countries do not have access to basic sanitation, according to the UNICEF analysis, whose findings are being released just days ahead of the U.N. 2023 Water Conference.
Water in the home is not available to nearly one-third of the children, while two-thirds do not have basic sanitation service. A quarter of the children lack an alternative to open defecation. Three quarters of the children cannot wash their hands because there is no soap and water in the home.
The countries affected by the water nightmare are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Somalia.
In addition, some of the countries and consequently their children, face yet another threat – instability and armed conflict.
“The loss of a child’s life is shattering for families. But the pain is intensified when it is preventable and caused by the lack of basic necessities many take for granted like safe drinking water, toilets, and soap,” said Wijesekera.
Source: Voice of America