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close this bookGlobal Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000 Report (UNICEF - WSSCC - WHO, 2000, 90 p.)
close this folder6. Africa
View the document(introduction...)
View the document6.1 Overview
View the document6.2 Water supply and sanitation coverage
View the document6.3 Changes during the 1990s
View the document6.4 Trends and future needs

6.4 Trends and future needs

In addition to presenting the changes over the 1990s in the number of people with and without access to improved services, Figures 6.3 - 6.8 also show the international development targets applied to population projections. The year 2015 targets are to reduce the proportion of people without access to improved water and sanitation by one-half, and to achieve universal coverage by the year 2025.

The graphs show that the total number of people in the region with access to water supply has increased considerably over the 1990s. For example, the data show that 135 million people in Africa gained access to improved water supply between 1990 - 2000 (Figure 6.3). The majority of these people (87 million) were in urban areas (Figure 6.4). For sanitation, the increase in numbers of people with access has been smaller than that for water coverage. In total, 98 million additional people gained access to improved sanitation services between 1990 - 2000 (Figure 6.6), with the vast majority of these (84 million) living in urban areas (cf. Figures 6.7, 6.8).

Figures 6.3 - 6.8 also indicate population projections and targets. The African population is expected to increase by 65% over the next 25 years. This presents a huge challenge to services in the region. To achieve the year 2015 goal for urban water supply coverage - halving the percentage of those without access - an additional 210 million people over the next 15 years will have to be provided with service. In rural areas, an estimated additional 194 million people will need to have access to meet the target. Therefore, a total of approximately 400 million additional people will need to be provided with access to improved water supply to meet the 2015 target. Given the findings of the Assessment 2000, this will require a tripling of the rate at which additional people have been gaining access between 1990 - 2000. New approaches will be needed to face this challenge. Some of the approaches being taken, as well as the difficulties faced by one country, are given in Box 6.1. Box 6.2 also describes some promising new approaches.

To meet the 2015 target for sanitation, an additional 211 million people in urban areas and 194 million people in rural areas will need to be provided with access. This will require that four times as many additional people gain access to improved sanitation between now and 2015, as additionally gained access between 1990 - 2000.


The water available in the United Republic of Tanzania should be more than adequate for the population's needs. Parts of the Great Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa lie within the country, and there are five major river systems which are used to generate over 85% of the country's power. Yet overall water supply coverage is estimated at 42% in rural areas and 80% in urban areas. The day-to-day experience of many Tanzanians is of intermittent operation, breakdowns, droughts and poor water quality.

Developing some of the potential water sources is, however, problematic. The Great Lakes are international bodies of water, and their exploitation as water sources for the United Republic of Tanzania needs to be handled with delicacy. In the dry central region of the country, groundwater is found only at considerable depth, requiring substantial investment. Surface waters often have competing demands: water is needed for irrigation, hydroelectric power and industry, as well as for domestic use.

Even the water available for domestic use does not always reach the household, because of breakdowns, leakage, lack of finance or management problems. In Dar es Salaam, at least 35% of the water supposedly supplied to the city's inhabitants is lost in the distribution system through leaking pipes and illegal connections, particularly along the transmission main where water is illegally tapped for irrigation. In the Njombe district villages of Ilunda and Ihero, which are counted as covered, water is rationed and is only available from the village standpipe for two hours per day, because the diesel engine used to pump water to the storage tank breaks down.

In response to these difficulties, a new approach is being taken that is demand-responsive rather than supply-driven. Communities take the lead in determining how they wish to solve their water problems and then demand the assistance to do so. Delivery of services is increasingly through the private sector, with the government providing regulation and coordination.

Source: (27)


The Zambia handpump programme is intended to provide a piped water supply over large areas of the country. Initially, the borehole construction specifications called for large diameters and high yields. A contract was awarded for each borehole, which took from one to two weeks to drill and cost US$ 5000.

A series of technical and administrative innovations have recently been made, including the following:

· Specifications have been reduced.
· Hydrological survey and drilling are contracted in an integrated manner.
· More mobile rigs are being used.
· Contractors are paid per unit task completed.
· No payments are made to drillers whose boreholes yield no water.

The innovations have resulted in striking improvements:

· Drilling time has been reduced to less than two days.
· The drilling costs per borehole have fallen to under US$ 2600.
· Project completion rates have gone up.
· More boreholes are being drilled.

Water and sanitation committees have been formed at water points and local communities have been trained in the use and maintenance of pumps. Water point users pay token fees, which are used to maintain the pumps.

Source: (28)

Figure 6.3 Actual and target total water supply coverage for Africa

Figure 6.4 Actual and target urban water supply coverage for Africa

Figure 6.5 Actual and target rural water supply coverage for Africa

Figure 6.6 Actual and target total sanitation coverage for Africa

Figure 6.7 Actual and target urban sanitation coverage for Africa

Figure 6.8 Actual and target rural sanitation coverage for Africa