Water is a necessity…
…, as well as a source of hope.
Clean water is becoming a scarce resource worldwide, and it already is in many parts of the world. Africa is one of these places. Increasing population and the effects of climate change will make this situation even more dire. German Cameroon Aid has thus set the goal of supporting the people of Cameroon to this end. For that reason, the A to Zs of well construction will become a focus of our activities. Since we cannot do this all by ourselves, we invite you to sponsor a project with your donation..
In order to survive and remain healthy, a person needs about one liter (1.1 qts) of water per day, but if it is hot and the person is sweating, he may need significantly more water. A family of five needs at least five liters (1.3 gallons) each day, which does not include the water needed for cooking or personal hygiene. It is easy to accrue a high need for water each day. Depending on availability, great effort must be expended to gather. If you possess a faucet in your home, as is common in Europe and in most industrialized nations, the problem is easy to solve: Just turn the faucet, and the shower turns on – that’s it! But how does this work if you live in remote rural areas in Africa? Then women and girls must walk to water sources every day, often several hours away, in order to collect the water needed for the day and bring it back home. The water sources can be rivers or other naturally occurring water sources, or they can be wells that have been dug. The problem with natural sources of water is often the water quality. The greater the drought in the area and the drier the season, the higher the degree of pollution. Furthermore, rivers in Africa are often used to transport sewage and wastewater. The wastewater dumped into the rivers pollutes the water and leads to illnesses among people. The quality of well water, on the other hand, is often significantly better, since rainwater is filtered naturally as it sinks through the soil.
In addition to drinking water, water is also needed for other purposes: for example, water is used in agriculture in order to grow enough food to support growing populations.
In total, Institute Water for Africa say that, in order to leave a healthy life, 50 liters (13.2 gallons) of water per person are needed each day. It is estimated that 85% of the water use in Cameroon is for agriculture, 10% for households, and only about 5% for industry. However, according to information from the Institute, many segments of the population have to survive on only 20 liters (5.3 gallons) per day. This leads, in various ways, to deficiency symptoms, illnesses, and worse. The average life expectancy in Cameroon was 55 years in 2012, compared to 81 years in Germany.
In addition to other factors, this difference in life expectancy is due largely to inadequate supply of clean drinking water and water for growing adequate food.
Water is already a scarce resource worldwide, and it continues to grow scarcer. Two factors will cause the situation to grow drastically worse in the future: the continually growing global population, and climate change. Both factors affect regions with differing degrees of severity. The population in Africa is growing more rapidly than in industrialized nations, and it is expected that droughts will occur more frequently and last longer in the future than they do today.
Using Cameroon as an example, this means that the population will grow 40%, from circa 24 million in 2016 to 34 million in 2030: this is based on an average annual growth of 2.5% for the coming years, as measured from 1970 to 2013.
With an average water consumption of 20 liters (5.3 gallons) per person per day, the daily water consumption will rise from circa 480,000 m³ (627,817 cubic yards) in 2016 by 200,000 m³ (261,590 cubic yards), to circa 680,000 m³ (889,406 cubic yards) in 2030. This increase is an enormous challenge for the country, its leadership, and especially for its inhabitants. If the humanitarian aspects of eliminating harmful influences of water shortage and poor water quality were to be improved and water consumption be raised to the quantity of 50 liters (15.2 gallons) per person per day as recommended by the Institute Water for Africa, the supply gap that will need to be closed in the next 13 years will increase to 1,200,000 m³ (1,569,541 cubic yards) per day. For comparison: In Germany, the water consumption is 121 liters (32 gallons) per person, per day.
Africa and Cameroon cannot fulfill this task in the time available, especially with the expected influences of climate change, without the help of industrialized nations.
That is why we have to help!
In addition to many educational and health projects, German Cameroon Aid has also taken on this task in order to support the inhabitants of Cameroon. In the past, we have begun constructing wells in Cameroon, especially in rural areas in which water supply is especially critical and has immediate effects on the care and health of the inhabitants. The link between health and supplying inhabitants with clean water became especially clear to us when we began operating the smaller health center and planning the somewhat larger health center in Bafia that was currently under construction. It simply made no sense to build a health center for treating illnesses in the area without also digging a well that would supply the inhabitants with clean, healthy water and thus build the foundation for their good health. – So, when implementing this project, we built a well that is already finished and in heavy use, even before the health center was operational.
The health center was constructed with donations from our friends in Europe and with the courteous, professional support of the BMZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation). We plan to have it completed by April 2017 and begin treating patients at that time.
But we cannot do all of this by ourselves! – we also need your support!