Health Issues: Water Crisis

Unsanitary Water in South Africa

The Water Crisis

"The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of all sickness in the world can be blamed on unsafe water and poor hygiene, especially in the villages of Africa. These villages are being ignored, receiving no attention" (Waterborne). This means that majority of all sickness in world is in Africa. "


The three main types of water-related diseases that are most associated with unsafe, and unsanitary water are waterborne, water-washed, and water-based. Waterborne diseases are transmitted by drinking contaminated water. Water-washed diseases occur when there isn't enough water for washing and hygiene, or when people bathe in contaminated water. Water-based diseases come from the parasites that enter through the various openings in the human body.


Waterborne diseases are caused by the ingestion of water containing pathogenic organisms from human and animal waste. Water-washed diseases occur from the lack of unclean water. "One cannot live without water so these villages are forced to drink what is there." (The). Not only are they forced to drink this water, they are also forced to wash in this unsanitary water. Water-based diseases are caused the parasites that host on the organisms that live and breed in the water people are consuming.


The symptom of most waterborne diseases is diarrhea. According to Africa Needs, nearly four billion people die from diarrhea each year. The reason for this many cases is due to the shortage of clean water. The different specific diseases that fall under the category of a waterborne diseases include typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. Typhoid is transmitted from ingesting contaminated water, causing high fever and abdominal pain. Cholera is an infection of the small intestine whose symptoms include not only diarrhea, but rapid dehydration as well. For water-washed diseases, the effects consist of scabies and trachoma. Scabies is a contagious skin disease that causes itching, due to tiny mites burring themselves underneath the skin. Trachoma is an eye disease caused by chlamydia trachomatis (when eye discharged from an infected person comes in contact with an uninfected person. As for water-based diseases, the effects include parasitic infections such as malaria, schistosomaisis and drancunculiasis. Malaria is transmitted from the bacteria vibrio cholerae in water. These bacteria cause high fever, shaking chills, flu-like symptoms, and anemia. All of these infections overtake the body's immune system and can eventually lead to death.


When it comes to figuring out solutions for the water crisis, many efforts are already being made worldwide. Some foundations, such as The Water Project, are drilling wells to help increase the amount of clean, fresh water that will be available to the South African villagers. Not only are they drilling wells, but they are also finding new and inventive ways to help provide sanitary water to the people of South Africa. A few of these projects include building sand dams to help store clean water, and rainwater catchment, which helps to store the rainwater that falls sporadically. This foundation, along with many others, are doing their giving their best effort to try to define and new and safe life for the natives. They can't do it alone though. Many of these foundations have charities that allow you to donate as much as you please. Below is a list of these charities.


Overall, The Water Crisis in South Africa is a huge problem that can be fixed one step at a time. By having clean water, the South African villager's lives can improve dramatically. Just by having safe, and sanitary water to drink, their health and education will progress. "Communities become far better able to grow themselves out of poverty" (How). This means the poverty rate will also decrease drastically with the help of the charities that strive to make giving South Africa fresh water their main goal.

Works Cited

African Needs Community Development Corporation, Inc. “Waterborne Diseases”.

Africa Needs. 2014 Web. 5 March 2014.

David Elliot, Cohen. What Matters. News York, NY. Sterling. Year 2008. Print.

African Needs Community Development Corporation, Inc. "The (water) Problem". African Needs. 2014 Web. 5 March 2014.