Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Majority of Congo Republic residents lack access to water

It has one of the largest reserves of water in the African continent. Still, over 50 million residents of the Democratic Republic of Congo are without access to potable water.

From the Inter Press Service, writer Charles M. Mushizi attended a water conference for Southern Africa that looked into the issue.

"The statistics from certain countries - like the DRC - are not up to date. The numbers are approximate; those from other countries are only partial. And all the numbers do not cover the same period; that's what makes the global statistics presented less than reliable," Sedeke told IPS on the sidelines of the Fifth SADC Water Dialogue, held in the Swazi capital, Mbabane, on Jun. 28 and 29.

"If we refer just to some of the large countries in the region, like the DRC where more than 75 percent of the population lacked access to potable water at the end of 2010, one can readily see how the reality for SADC is worse than the statistics show," he added.

"More than 60 percent of the population without access to water in DRC is made up of women and children; to put it another way, more than 35 million Congolese women and children do not have access to potable water," Cyrille Masamba, another Congolese delegate in Mbabane, told IPS.

According to a report published in March 2011 by the United Nations Environment Programme, the DRC possesses half of the water resources in Africa, but more than 50 million Congolese do not have access to water.
"It's in this sense that each state has a national policy to finance access to water as well as to guide sustainable management of water in the context of climate change," said Jonathan Kampata, a Zambian expert in water finance. According to him, "water is becoming a big asset for adaptation to greenhouse effects and in the struggle against food insecurity through agriculture."

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