Without water, there is no life. Africa’s ancient cultures and unique flora and fauna are anchored by some of the world’s largest lakes and longest rivers. However, these vital corridors do not provide enough clean water today to quench Africa’s thirst.
Children and women walk many miles daily to bring back heavy buckets of often polluted water to their villages. It is said that unsanitary water now kills 5 to 12 million people annually and that by mid-century, 2 to 7 billion will face water shortages. Deforestation is devastating watersheds. River silt and invasive species are choking lakes. Effects of population increases and global warming are destroying water-producing glaciers. UNESCO reports that available water in Africa’s basins of the Niger and Senegal rivers and Lake Chad has decreased by 40 to 60 percent. Experts predict that wars of the twenty-first century will be over water, underlining the importance of Africa’s dilemma.
Alison M. Jones has made 23 trips to 10 sub-Saharan countries. She has many photos which vividly illustrate Africa’s struggle for water. Her photographs represent the importance of this vital resource for the entire planet.