1945

Africa’s freshwater resources are estimated to be nearly 9% of the world’s total (Gonzalez Sanchez et al., 2020). However, these resources are unevenly distributed, with the six most water-rich countries in Central and Western Africa holding 54% of the continent’s total resources and the 27 most water-poor countries holding only 7% (UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, 2020). Large rivers include the Congo, Nile, Zambezi and Niger. Lake Victoria (spreading across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) is the second-largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, while Lake Tanganyika (shared among Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Zambia) is the second-largest by volume, as well as the second-deepest freshwater lake in the world. This notwithstanding, Africa is the seconddriest continent in the world, after Australia. Arid and semi-arid areas cover about two thirds of the continent. About 73% of the total population of Sub-Saharan Africa did not use safely managed drinking water services in 2017 (WHO/UNICEF, 2019a). An estimated 14% of Africa’s population (about 160 million people) currently live under conditions of water scarcity (Hasan et al., 2019), due in part to the uneven distribution of water resources as well as inequalities in the access to clean and potable water services (UNEP, 2002).

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