Developing groundwater for secure rural water supplies in Africa

MacDonald, Alan ORCID:; Calow, Roger. 2008 Developing groundwater for secure rural water supplies in Africa. In: Water and sanitation in international development and disaster relief, Edinburgh, UK, 28-30 May 2008. University of Edinburgh.

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In sub-Saharan Africa 85% of those without access to safe water live in rural areas where the consequent poverty and ill health disproportionately affect women and children. The widespread development of groundwater is the most affordable and sustainable way of improving access to secure water for the rural poor on the scale required to achieve current coverage targets. However, groundwater resources vary considerably across the continent, and the sustainable development of the resource depends on an accurate understanding of the hydrogeology. To develop secure water supplies, the quantity, quality and sustainability of groundwater resources must be known to ensure that key decisions are informed by knowledge of resource conditions. Communities must also be involved at every stage of the process and given the authority to manage and maintain sources. There is a danger that the current pressure to achieve ambitious coverage targets will result in short cuts being taken and, although many new sources are constructed, they will not be secure.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Paper)
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2008 > Groundwater resources
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, International development, Groundwater and health, Groundwater resources
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
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Date made live: 08 Dec 2008 14:04 +0 (UTC)

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