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Anders Bekeken

The Africa Water Atlas: Shows Africa’s Vulnerable Water Resources in Striking Detail

Geschreven op 27-11-2010 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Klimaat, Water Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

africaWater AtlasThe major challenges facing Africa’s water resources have been laid out in striking clarity in a new atlas compiled by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Africa Water Atlas uses hundreds of ‘before and after’ shots, detailed new maps and satellite images from 53 countries to show the problems facing Africa’s water supplies, such as the drying of Lake Chad and the erosion of the Nile Delta, as well as new, successful methods of conserving water.

Some of the most arresting images in the Atlas, which was launched during Africa Water Week in Addis Ababa, include green clouds of eroded soil and agricultural run-off in Uganda, pollution from oil spills in Nigeria and a 3km segment of the Nile Delta that has been lost to erosion. Research carried out for the Atlas shows that the amount of water available per person in Africa is declining. At present, only 26 of the continent’s 53 countries are on track to attain the water-provision target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce by half the proportion of the population without sustainable access to drinking water by 2015.

Furthermore, only eight African countries (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Botswana, Angola, South Africa and Egypt) are expected to attain the MDG target of reducing by half the proportion of the population without sustainable access to basic sanitation by 2015. But in addition to these water challenges, the Atlas maps out new solutions and success stories from across the continent. It contains the first detailed mapping of how rainwater conservation is improving food security in drought-prone regions. Images also reveal how irrigation projects in Kenya, Senegal and Sudan are helping to improve food security.

The Atlas, compiled by UNEP at the request of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) shows how the challenges of water scarcity in Africa are compounded by high population growth, socioeconomic and climate change impacts and, in some cases, policy choices. Prepared in cooperation with the African Union, European Union, US Department of State and United States Geological Survey, the 326-page atlas gathers information about the role of water in Africa’s economies and development, health, food security, transboundary cooperation, capacity building and environmental change in one comprehensive and accessible volume.

The Africa Water Atlas is a visual account of Africa’s endowment and use of water resources, revealed through 224 maps and 104 satellite images as well as 500 graphics and hundreds of photos. It gathers information about water in Africa and its role in the economy, development, health, food security, transboundary cooperation, capacity building and environmental change into one comprehensive volume. Source: UNEP

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